A Resistance

항거: 유관순 이야기

Aresistance Website
Film info

Director: Joe Min-ho
Cast: Ko A-sung, Kim Sae-byeok, Kim Ye-eun, Jeong Hadam
Film genre: Drama
Cert 12, 105 mins, 2019
Distributed by Lotte Entertainment

Though set almost entirely within the confines of the notorious Seodaemun Prison, this mostly monochrome feature from writer/director Joe Min-ho (A Million, 2009) uses the incarceration of real-life freedom fighter Yu Gwan-sun (Ko A-sung) to crystallise the ordeals of Korea's occupation by the Japanese. Arrested, along with 47,000 others, for participating in a non-violent national protest in 1919 which she had helped organise (and in which her parents were shot), Gwan-sun took it upon herself, from within her overcrowded cell, to continue her resistance against her foreign captors and their Korean collaborators alike, under constant, real threat of torture or worse. Merging individual and collective sacrifice, this true story of Korea's early Independence movement is retold intersectionally, with themes of women's solidarity and Christian martyrdom brought into the prisonhouse of oppression. Joe fashions his heroine's life and death as a particularly Korean reimagining of Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion Of Joan Of Arc (1928).