The Sea Knows

현해탄은 알고 있다

The Sea Knows 1St Choice
Film info

Director: Kim Ki-young
Cast: Woon-ha Kim, Sang-sa Lee, Ye-chun Lee
Film genre: Drama
119 mins, 2018

In 1944, Japan is conscripting Koreans into the Imperial Army. Students Arowoon and Inoue are forced to journey across the sea to Nagoya, where they face gross mistreatment from their sadistic Japanese superior, Mori. Nevertheless, they retain their defiant spirit in both word and deed. When Arowoon ventures outside the barracks, he encounters another side to Japan through a young woman called Hideko. Although she is Japanese, he defies convention, yet again, by falling in love with her. He finds solace in her tenderness and resolute devotion, despite the fierce opposition to their union. However, their ‘Romeo and Juliet’ story takes a terrifying turn when the war threatens not only their lives, but also that of their unborn child. Will fate grant this unconventional pair a happier ending than Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers? Kim Ki-young, originator of the grotesque in Korean film, explores the full horrors of World War II in this epic. At the same time, he rails against racial prejudice, providing hope for a more egalitarian future with his defiant lovers. Kim considered The Sea Knows amongst his best works in his maverick career as a ‘cineaste who went ahead of the times’ (KoFA).