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Korea: Remember 5.18

History seems unforgettable. Especially tragedies. A movie that just opened in Korea brings up a piece of history, the Kwangju Uprising or Kwangju Democracy Movement (known in Korea as 5.18), and has been touted as a film Koreans should watch. The film touches on issues of patriotism, the plight of 5.18’s victims, the question of how to punish its perpetrators, and the way Koreans have been taught about 5.18. The movie has become popular very quickly.

The title of the movie is ‘Hoaryeohan Hyuga (Remember 518)’

Flowstar writes about the film.

‘흥행해야만하는'영화.
5.18관련자들을 의자에 묶어서라도 저 영화를 보게 만들고 싶다.

그동안 광주를 비춰오던 ‘외신'과 ‘과거를 증언'하는 시점에서 벗어나
‘그들'의 시점으로 이야기를 진행시켜나가는 영화,
그렇기 때문에 눈물선을 툭툭-건들이는 영화,
‘정말 저런일이 가능해?'라는 의문이 자꾸 드는 영화.
하지만 저것은 ‘그나마 미화'된 것이라는 이야기까지 나오는 영화.

‘꿈이었으면 좋겠다'는 이요원의 대사가
너무나, 너무나 아프게 쑤시고 들어오는 영화,
‘우리는 폭도가 아니다.'라고 외치는 김상경을
‘당신들은 그저 시민이에요.'하고 달래주고싶게 만드는 영화.

국가가 시키는 대로 살아온 시민들,
정말, 소시민들.
누가 그들을 ‘폭도'로 만들고, 누가 그들을 ‘빨갱이'로 만든것인가.
삼인성호(三人成虎),
세 사람이면 없던 호랑이도 만든다는 뜻,
사람의 혀가 얼마나 무서운지 보여주는 고사성어,

그리고, 전두환이, 전두환의 부하들이, 심지어 언론까지.
그들을 폭도라 했고, 빨갱이라 했다.
그당시 우리에게 그들은 폭도였고, 빨갱이였다.

하지만 지금의 그들은
민주주의를 지킨 영웅이요, 숭고한 시민들이다.

‘우리는 최후까지 싸울것입니다.
우리는 광주를 지켜내고야 말것입니다.
우리를 잊지말아주세요.’
라며 울부짖었던 그들을, 죽어가며 싸웠던 그들을,
잊지말자. 잊지말고 기억하자.
그게 지금 우리가, 먼저 간, 희생한 그들을 위해 해줄 수 있는 최선의 일이다.

A movie that ‘should be box-office value.’
I wanted to show this movie to 5.18 prosecutors, tying them up in chairs even though they don’t want to watch it.

Contratry to ‘foreign news’ and ‘point of views about how to interpret about Kwangju in the past’, the movie talks about the story from ‘their’ (victims’) own views. A movie blurry with tears. A movie to question me on and on, ‘Is it really possible such a thing could happen?’ But I heard the movie couldn’t even show everything that really happened at that time.’
“I hope it is a dream” the main actress said. It still hurts me so deelply. The main actor shouts ‘we’re not mobsters.’ I wanted to shout back to him, ‘you’re just citizens.’

People who lived by the orders of the nation, good citizens.
Who made them rioters, who made them ‘Commies’?
‘Three people can make a tiger.’
It means that three mouths can create a tiger.
It’s a pharse to show how humans’ tongues are scary.

And, Chun Doohwan, his officials, and even mass media.
They called those good citizens rioters, and Commies.
At that time, to us, they were rioters and Commies.

But now they are heroes to keep democracy and they are righteous citizens.

‘We will fight to the end. We will keep Kwangju. Don’t forget us.’
Don’t forget.
Let’s remember people who cried out and fought to the death.
That’s what we can do the best for people who sacrified themselves.

Bloggers like Hacker show what can be learned about the real history through the movie.

부모님과 함께 화려한 휴가를 봤습니다.
부모님도 저런 일이 있었다는 걸 몰랐다고 하시는군요.
부모님께 저 말을 들으니 더 웃기고 통탄스럽더군요.
화려한 휴가는 꼭 봐야 할 영화입니다.
꼭 보십시오.
그리고 이 영화는 논픽션입니다. 픽션이 아닙니다.
실제로 있었던 일입니다.
꼭 잊지 말고 기억해야 할 일입니다.

I watched the movie with my parents in the theater.
They said that they even didn’t know what really happened at that time.
What my parents said made me sad.
It’s a movie that we should see.
It’s non-fiction, not fiction.
It’s a real story.
We should remember.

Not a few bloggers are dissatisfied with that the people who took part in the violent suppression have not been questioned.

정말 그랬을까?

중학생때 엄마랑 시내에서 우연히 흑백사진을 바닥에 깔고
무언가 나눠주던 사람을 보았다.
바닥에 잔뜩 깔린 사진은 시신이었다.
누군가에게 심하게 맞고 , 혹은 군인에게 잡혀가는 사진이었던것 같다
아무 아련히 그 사진들이 기억에 남는다.
가장 기억에 남는 사진은 나무 관속에 누워있는 찟긴 얼굴로 누워있는
이름 모를 젊은 청년.

나중에 알았다.
우연히 보게된 5.18 화보에서
중학생때 본 그 사진이 5.18 사진이었다는 것을.

5.18 광주 민중항쟁에 대한 지식이 어느정도 있다고 생각하고 본 영화였지만
눈앞에 펼쳐지는 광경은 믿을수 없을만큼
잔혹하고, 어떻게 저런일이 불과 27년전에 일어날수 있었을까..
의심이 들정도이다.
그리고
그 사람들을 죽이고 학살했던 사람들은 여전히 떵떵거리고 살고 있다…

Is it real?
In middle school, I came across a person who displayed black and white photos on the street and distributed papers to people. The photos showed corpses. Some bodies were beaten harshly and some of them were dragged by soldiers. I vaguely remember those pictures. The photo I remember the most was a young man’s face that was torn and he lied in a wooden coffin.
Much later, I got to know.
Those pictures were from 5.18.
I saw the movie with enough knowledge about the Incident. I thought I knew enough.
But I couldn’t believe the scenes before my eyes. Could such a horrible thing happen just 27 years ago? I couldn’t even believe it. And the people who murdered those people live extravagant lifestyles now.

A blogger sent a letter to Chun Doo-hwan, the president who was supposed to order the violent suppresion.

전두환 씨, 25일 개봉한 영화 ‘화려한 휴가’를 보셨나요?
전 재산이 29만 원밖에 없으니 형편이 여의치 않겠지만 꼭 보시길 ‘강추’합니다.
끔찍한 한국 현대사의 아픔이 여전히 계속되고 있다는 것을 잘 보여줄 테니까요.
영화에서 당신을 부릅니다.

“우린 폭도가 아니라고, 이 개새끼들아”
뭔가 답변을 해야지 않겠습니까?영화 제작사가 한 인터넷 영화사이트와 함께 진행한 이벤트에 따르면 ‘화려한 휴가’를 꼭 봐야 하는 사람 1위로 당신을 꼽았다고 합니다…

영화에서 국민 배우 안성기가 열연한 예비역 대령 박흥수는 이렇게 말합니다.

“총알보다 무서운 것이 바로 사람이다.”

왜 사람이 무서운 줄 아십니까? 바로 기억하는 동물이기 때문입니다…
‘80년 광주’에서 끔찍한 일들을 겪었던 사람들, 그 일을 기억하는 사람들의 DNA는 모두 ‘전두환’ 당신의 이름 세 글자를 잊지 못할 것입니다.

태극기를 흔들며 ‘대한민국 만세’를 외쳤던 자국민을 서슬 퍼런 총칼로 학살했던 군인이 처벌은커녕 대대손손 호가호위하며 살았다는 사실을 우리는 영원히 잊지 않을 것입니다.

Mr Chun Doo-hwan, did you see this movie when it opened on the 25th? Even though you said you just have 290,000 won (US 250 dollars) left for your property, I strongly recommend you to see this movie. It shows that the tragic history still hurts us. The movie calls you.
“We’re not rioters, bastards”Don’t you have to reply to this scream? The movie production opened an event to ask a question, ‘who should see this movie?’ And then you’re selected as the number one…
An actor says in the movie, “What’s scarier than gun bullets is humans.”
Do you know why humans are scary? Because we’re animals that are able to remember… People who remember ‘Kwangju in the 1980s.’ Their DNA will not forget your name, Chun Doo-hwan.
We’ll not forget soldiers who massacred their own people who shouted ‘Long Live Korea’ holding national flags and still have extravagant lives.

2 comments

  • mahathir_fan

    When 5 18 happened, there was a total blackout in the media. People elsewhere in Korea knew something had happened in Kwangju but the news media did not report it, it pretended like life was normal.

    This movie is not just a must watch for Koreans but for Americans as well.

    Too many Americans take credit that it was them who fought in the Korean war and helped South Korea to what it is today. This is non sense. American Korean policies post WWII helped the Korean Japanese collaborators and isolated the Communists resulting in the break up of Korea. Then after the Korean war, they left behind a Korean military dictatorship that lasted for nearly 40 years.

    Democracy in South Korea was never fought for by American soldiers. It was the Korean people that fought for it, events such as 5 18 to overthrow the dictatorial and undemocratic Korean government that was in place for about 40 years after the Korean War.

    Now, back to Asian cup soccer. My prediction: Korea will be downed by Japan. Watch it live in 6 hours!

  • I’ve written a review of the movie at pbae.blogspot.com

    Please visit and comment. Thank you.

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