"Welcome to Dongmo Village" - I don't know, you don't know

Sonya 2022-09-18 04:10:26

In the vast majority of education, believing in science and believing in history is an important norm. Even if it is not a scientific youth, people have no doubts about the recognition and respect of science. As for history, what kind of memories should people keep and what kind of experiences should people forget?

Hu Shi said: History is like a little girl. It means that history can be dressed however you want. I didn't really care about this argument. However, knowing that South Korea's textbooks stated that South Korea was the victor of the Korean War, I couldn't help sneering. It turns out that painting history is not a country's "patent". The memory is more vivid than the history textbook. There was no winner in that war. A "harmony" ending, but a miserable one. Both sides of the war have paid a heavy price.

The Korean War is one reason Korean filmmakers cannot stop. From the war itself ("Taichi Flag Fluttering"), to the side of the war ("Black Narcissus"), and then to the aftermath of the war ("JSA Joint Security Area"), Koreans put their blood, tears, pain, anger, and confusion, Repeatedly displayed, cathartic. But just from one angle, can it show the whole of the war?

"Welcome to Dongmo Village" is a famous stage play. Compared with Korean films that have flourished in recent years, South Korea's stage drama industry has actually gathered more outstanding talents, and the works have stronger explosiveness and ideology. There are many excellent films that are actually adapted from successful stage plays, and the relatively new one is "The King and the Clown". The earlier stage adaptation of the film "Welcome to Dongmo Village" also set several records in Korean film history, and beat many well-known big-name films to join the 2006 Oscar foreign language film competition.

But I was disappointed when I got the movie. I don't know if it is because of the error of the data, the original stage play, not only the People's Army, the United Nations Army, Syngman Rhee's troops, but also the Chinese People's Volunteers. Putting all parties involved in the war on one stage itself has a more profound interpretation due to the multi-faceted perspective. However, in the movie, the part of the volunteer army was completely deleted. It's not as simple as cutting off a symbol and giving up an angle. Regret developed into depression, so let go.

Or one day bite the bullet and look at it honestly from the first second. The title is like an ink painting, and the time is set in September 1950, a delicate time. October 25, 1950 was the date when the Chinese People's Volunteers officially entered the war. The setting of the film excludes the necessity and possibility of the volunteer army. The rest of the brief narrative only emphasizes MacArthur's landing in Inchon, launching a storm against the People's Army. As for the period from June to September 1950, nothing was mentioned.

Why not say it? Because creators are only willing to express the emotions they wish to reveal. The combination of grievance and conceit is a bit weird. The hostile People's Army is of course to be portrayed as cruel. Shooting wounded comrades, no matter if it is true or not, is enough to make all the spectators suffer. In the face of the Americans who joined the war, the Koreans also had mixed emotions. They not only wanted to show off the blows the Americans gave their opponents, but also showed the domineering and timidity of the Americans. Obviously, the first American to show up was yelling and helpless on the falling military plane, completely lacking the qualities of a professional soldier. In the end, of course, it was the Koreans themselves during the war, and their identity was extraordinarily ambiguous - "deserter", not because they were afraid of their own death and escaped, but because of the guilt of the innocent people they killed, fleeing the battlefield and even hope Atonement by suicide.

Three people's army soldiers who survived, two "deserters" from the southern army, and an American pilot who was injured in a plane crash all came to the paradise - Dongmo Village by accident. Meeting on a narrow road and facing each other, it was originally a critical moment of life and death, but something was wrong. What's wrong is that all the villagers ignore their weapons, their threats, their nervousness. The ignorant are fearless, but the ignorance of the villagers is not comical. In this small village with simple folk customs and isolated from the world, labor and self-sufficiency are the only important things. When they came from the civilized world, with lethal weapons, hatred and resentment, their words and deeds became absurd.

Dongmo Village is weird, it is independent of the world; Dongmo Village is magical, it has no basis and reason for any war. The three parties who were originally at war discovered in Dongmo Village how pointless their hostility was and how ridiculous the reason for the war was. They are tempted, let go of their doubts, lift their guard against each other, and slowly help each other, communicate with each other, regardless of you and me. The process is complex and difficult. A scene that shocked me was when a South Korean soldier told the little soldiers of the People's Army: It was North Korea that started the war. In his astonishment, the little warrior found that his leader was silent, tacitly acknowledging this fact. As for the historical facts, of course, it has been known before this. But the "I know, you don't" smugness of South Korean soldiers...yes, they didn't start the war, but did they know about the accidents that preceded the war? Do they know what happened in that huge Pusan ​​POW camp? Do they know what South Korean soldiers and even South Korean clerics did in POW camps? There is always history and truth that you don't know, and never be so complacent about what you know.

The ending of the film is undoubtedly very symbolic. It turned out to be hostile North and South Korean soldiers, but they fought side by side against the Americans. That American pilot, for a somewhat far-fetched reason, did not take part in their fight. Brothers stand against the wall, and defend their insults from outside. For this stubborn nation, the north and the south are still brothers with the same blood. Americans, after all, are outsiders. These few people who were liberated from their souls in Dongmo Village already had hope of a peaceful life, but in order to protect this peace, they gave up possible love and possible tomorrow.

Dongmo Village was spared, but the pure, kind and innocent little girl was killed. It is said that more than 10 million Korean viewers saw this scene, no one did not shed tears. The peaceful pure land seems to be protected, but the most beautiful ones were destroyed by the war in the first place. People should be protected the most, and people should be destroyed first. And protection is always later than destruction.

The 38th parallel cuts off the Korean peninsula. It's a huge wound, and there's always someone rubbing salt in it. Soldiers from North and South Korea, standing on both sides of the wound, heavily armed, faced off for decades. They tie their hands and look at each other in silence. Is there any anger in their eyes that is too frustrating? Do you have the warmth of blood brothers? Do you have any heart and lung pain?

I don't know, you don't know.

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Extended Reading

Welcome to Dongmakgol quotes

  • Teacher Kim: [in English] How are you?

    Smith: What?

    Teacher Kim: How are you?

    Smith: How do you think I am, huh? I mean, how do you think I am? Look at me, huh? I mean, look at me! I'm tied up with sticks here. You know, I feel like shit! Like shit!

    Village Chief: [in Korean] Not going well?

    Teacher Kim: It's strange. You can see, like it says here, sir.

    Village Chief: I can't read that.

    Teacher Kim: Yes, sir. Well, if I say

    [in English]

    Teacher Kim: 'How are you?', he should say

    [in English]

    Teacher Kim: 'Fine, and you?'. That's the right American answer, so then I can say,

    [in English]

    Teacher Kim: 'I'm fine'. Only then is this a completed thing. But he's a bit...

    Villager: Why isn't he doing as he should? Is he picking a fight?