A film about the tragic death of a Samsung worker is slowly gaining traction in South Korea, the birthplace of electronics giant Samsung and a country notoriously nicknamed “The Republic of Samsung” for the corporation's enormous power and influence there.
“Another Promise” faced many hurdles from the very beginning. According to an extensive interview with local media [ko], the director recalls getting countless rejections from investors and production houses, adding that without the help of many generous citizens, the movie would not have been possible.
The film, which depends entirely on crowdfunding and small, private donations, tell the story of a Samsung worker who died from acute leukemia and her father's draining legal battle with the corporation as he struggled to prove that disease was linked with the company's harsh and unsafe working conditions. A series of legal fights continue between Samsung and labor groups who allege that employees suffering from leukemia and other rare diseases contracted them because of working at the company's factories.
Amid rising suspicions [ko] that some multiplex theaters are too afraid to expand the number of screens showing the movie even without pressure from Samsung, the movie seems to have deeply touched and inspired moviegoers, many of whom took their reviews to Twitter and popular South Korean online venues, encouraging other users [ko] to see the movie.
자신의 택시 뒷자리에서 딸이 숨지고,아버지가 노무사에게 전화를 한다.”윤미가 갔어요.근데 어디다 말할데가 없네요.”하소연할데도 편들어주는 이도 없이,그렇게 숨진 목숨이 밝혀진것만 쉰여덟.또 하나의 약속을 보는건 그 억울한 목소리를 듣는 일이다
— 김진숙 (@JINSUK_85) February 8, 2014
After his daughter died in the back seat of his own taxi, the father calls the labor attorney and says, “Yumi has just passed away. There is no one around I can tell this.” No one to complain to, no one willing to take their side. There are over 58 cases of similar deaths. Watching this movie is listening to those voices.
또 하나의 약속, 두번째. 현실과 너무 닮아있어서 다큐멘터리를 보는 것만 같다 꼭. 버스로 막았던 그 장면 나는 실제로 보기도 했으니까.. 안으로 들리는 외침에 그저 시끄럽다고만 생각했었는데.. 왜 그때부터 관심 가지지 못했을까 이 사회를.
— 강 지 은 (@wantu_) February 8, 2014
It's my second time watching the movie. Since it is so realistic, it almost felt like watching a documentary, especially since I witnessed that particular scene with my very own eyes – where people blocked with the bus. But back then, I merely found that people's cries coming from inside were just bit too noisy. Why did I not take interest in what was going on in this society back then?
사람들은 낭만적인 영화를 보고 그것이 현실이 되길 바란다.반면 어두운 현실을 드러낸 영화를 보고 난 뒤엔 그것을 영화 속 이야기로 남겨두려 한다. 이 둘이 바뀔 때 현실은 영화보다 나아질 수 있다.<또 하나의 약속>은 영화 밖에서 바꿔야 할 현실이다.
— 말러의 인간적 독서 (@books79) February 8, 2014
After watching a romantic film, people wish it would happen in their real life. However, after watching movies depicting ugly facts of reality, they wish to keep them where they were, as something that exists only on the screen. But actually, when these responses are reversed, people can bring positive changes to the real world. “Another Promise” is a reality which needs to be changed outside a movie theater.
Many of the comments were about the seemingly unfair treatment that the movie is getting – less active promotion by distributors and not many screens are showing the film. People also mentioned that the title of the movie, “Another Promise”, is a satirical use of Samsung’s famous advertising slogan “Another Family”.
광고 카피로 썼던 ‘또 하나의 가족'이 ‘또 하나의 약속'이란 부메랑으로 돌아올 줄은 몰랐겠지. 소비자에 대한 책임, 노동자에 대한 책임, 피해자에 대한 책임 따위 안중에도 없었던 값싼 가족팔이의 댓가 톡톡히 치루시길.
— 하늘걷기 (@actwalk) February 8, 2014
That ad slogan “Another Family” – they would have never imagine this would come back to bite them like a boomerang. I really hope they pay the full price for taking advantage of their “family” in the ad without really taking responsibility for the customers, labor workers and victims.
국민의 명령 회원들과 ‘또하나의 약속’ 단체 관람 했다. 인증샷을 찍으려고 했는데 포스터는 물론이고 입간판 단 한개도 배치되지 않았다. 그리고 하루에 두번만 상영된다고 한다. 참! 한심하다. pic.twitter.com/UB9wop6PT0
— 신비, 김상호 (@sinbi2010) February 8, 2014
With members of my group “Power to the People”, I watched the movie “Another Promise”. I've tried to take a confirmation photo proving that we watched it, but there was no movie poster displayed inside the theater, and not even one banner stand. And they say the movie is screened only twice a day. What a pathetic situation.