Non Fiction Diary
Director: Jung Yoon-suk
Cast: Ko Byung-chun, O Hu-geun, Jung Hyung-bok
Film genre: Documentary
Cert 15, 93 mins, 2022
Distributed by M-Line Distribution
Rather like Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder, Jung Yoon-suk’s brilliant essay-doc uses real-life crimes from the not-so-distant past as the touchstone for a broader interrogation of the Korean body politic. The so-called Jijon Gang were young men in Yeonggwang, a rural backwater with Confucian roots, who killed five people in 1994 – just after Korea’s transition from military to civilian government. They claimed to hate the new consumerism and the rich, but none of their victims were in fact affluent. The case was complicated and contradictory. Exploring the gang’s nihilism and misogyny, Jung re-examines other disasters of the period – the collapse of the Seongsu Bridge over the Han River and the collapse of the Sampoong Department Store, both claiming many lives – to ask provocative questions about negligence and culpability, ‘freedom’ and social control, murder and the death penalty. Jung’s editing and film language are thrillingly dynamic.