Monday, April 19, 2010

Movie Review: A Little Pond 작은 연못 (Jak-eun Yeon-mot)

The movie is based on the alleged No Gun Ri Massacre during the Korean War (1950-53).
For a quick look at the story please click here

In 2010, the 60th anniversary of the Korean War is being remembered with various movies and TV shows appearing in South Korea. What this film does is to look at No Gun Ri Bridge and claim that the US Army massacred innocent Korean refugees during the Korean War.

I had first heard of this incident back in 1999 when a report by Charles Hanley was published by the Associated Press back in September 1999. This story quoted nine former U.S. soldiers, including Ed Daily, who claimed that he machine gunned refugees and could, "still hear their cries, the little kids screaming." The AP won the Pulitzer Prize for this story in 2000. U.S. President Bill Clinton issued a statement of regret in January 2001. I then remember Mr. Daily being flown back to Korea to be interviewed by Tom Brokaw and his confession of his role in the story.

But I then remember that people were challenging this story and the best rebuttal I could find was GI Korea speech to the Seoul Rotary Club, which is linked here. In which he attempts to explain what really happened during that incident.

So I knew about all of the above before I went to see this film. If you notice the film poster has the quote, "Kill them all." What I found sad about this is that the quote that the person alleged to make at this time was later to have been proven that he was not even at the No Gin Ri Bridge at the time of the incident.

I then sat down and waited for the film to start and after it was over I kept thinking, I just saw the finest North Korean Propaganda film ever made. I even waited to the end to see if the film has a poster or a photograph of either Kim Il-sung or Kim Jong-il.

The film had Russians trying to play American soldiers and it never worked for me. You had a really heroic North Korean child appear after the incident to play to the audience. I also thought that the film poster and many scenes from this film were lifted straight from North Korea Propaganda posters denouncing the USA soldiers as baby killers. I really could not believe that I had actually seen all of this.

But, in the end, this is just a film. No more nor no less. It did not do that good on its opening week and looks like it will not make back any profit for MK Pictures.

Please pass on this film and save your money for something else.

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