Military Train + Volunteer + Introduction by Baek Moonim, Yonsei University

Military Train

 The most problematic of the colonial products were the ‘military recruitment’ films. Prior to 1938, Korean men had been forbidden for joining the Japanese military but this all changed as the second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and then later the Pacific War (1941-1945) got underway. Designed to encourage Korean men to join the army, these films sought to appeal to both the men themselves and their families about the positive benefits of the military life. Military Train follows two young friends who drive military transport trains with tragic results. Focusing on the railway, Military Train opens with dynamic train sequence before presenting a tale of love, betrayal, loyalty and espionage.  

Volunteer charts the tale of Chun-hoo, a young Korean man desperate to join the Japanese Army. The film explores how Chun-hoo feels torn between commitment to his mother and family and his burning desire of the military life. Chun-hoo’s fiance is played by legendary actress Mun Ye-bong who also stars in several other features in this season and this film as some very remarkable fantasy sequences that make this film a fascinating experience.  

BFI Southbank, 16 Feb 2019 5:50 pm

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