Film Welcome to Dongmakgol (Park Kwang-Hyun, 2005)
I saw an excellent film, 9.5 on a scale of 10! Shown as part of the Cine-East 7: New East Asian Cinema series of contemporary films from China, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan of the Duke University Screen Society, Welcome to Dongmakgol was a beautifully shot, sometimes surrealistic, film showing the common sense of peace.
Film's description from Duke's Asian/Pacific Studies Institute:
Discover the magic of Dongmakgol! Filmmaker Park Kwang-hyun makes a stunning directorial debut with "Welcome To Dongmakgol," a touching tale of war and peace!During the Korean War, a platoon of North Korean soldiers are attacked with only Commander Lee, Private Jang and kid soldier Taek Ki surviving the carnage. After meeting a beautiful young girl named Yeo Il, the soldiers follow her back to her village, an Eden-like place known as Dongmakgol.
In this town that time forgot, the locals carry on with their lives, completely oblivious to the fact that the Korean War has been raging on for the last couple of years. Due to their ignorance of the political situation, the villagers see nothing wrong with welcoming two South Korean soldiers, Lieutenant Pyo and a cowardly medic. Adding an international flavor to the mix is Captain Smith, an American pilot forced to make an emergency landing in the mythical Dongmakgol. After an intense confrontation that causes the destruction of the village's prized warehouse, the bitter rivals decide to put their differences aside for the time being, until they can help make up for the loss.
Although initially confused by the villagers attitudes toward life, the soldiers soon realize that they have found a paradise, a safe haven from the world of guns, bombs, and tanks. By interacting with these plain-spoken rural folks, the soldiers' ideas of patriotism and war slowly get subverted, as they embrace the more peaceful outlook demonstrated by the inhabitants of Dongmakgol. But with the death and destruction of the outside world soon encroaching on the peaceful village of Dongmakgol, can these bitter enemies band together to protect the people that have given them a second chance at life? Based on the play by Jang Jin and featuring a wonderful score by Joe Hisaishi, "Welcome To Dongmakgol" is a heartwarming, deeply moving motion picture, full of unforgettable imagery and heartfelt sentiment!
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