Jiseul

지슬 - 끝나지않은 세월2

Jiseul1
Film info

Director: Omeul
Cast: Lee Kyoung-jun, Hong Sang-pyo, Mun Seok-bum, Yang Jeong-won
108 mins, 2012

A group of villagers find themselves under attack. The attacking soldiers, like them Korean, have come to their Jeju Island to crush a supposed communist rebellion. They are simple farmers but the soldiers show no mercy: they have orders to eradicate anyone living five kilometres inland from the coast. The villagers hide in a system of caves, try to hold off the attackers by wafting chili smoke at them – stinging smoke versus M1 rifles. Survivors will make a run for the mountains.

This beautiful and disturbing black and white film won director Omuel a number of awards, not least a jury prize at Sundance in 2013. A cast of Jeju Island amateur actors bring alive O’s earthy, often humorous script. This handful of poor farmers stands in for tens of thousands of islanders massacred in 1948-49, in the Korean war before the Korean War.