Welcome to Dongmakgol
Directed by Park ,Kwang-hyun, 2003
27 March 2009
A ragtag group of North Korean
soldiers led by Commander Lee are ambushed. Only
Lee, PrivateJang and teenager Taeg-ki survive.
Encountering a strange young girl Yeo-il, they find
temporary refuge in her village, called Dongmakgol.
Its residents are blissfully unaware that the Korean
War has been raging on. The villagers also offer
refuge to South Korean soldiers, Lieutenant Pyo, the
medic Moon and to Smith, an American pilot. After a
tense standoff, resulting in the blowing up of the
warehouse in the village, the soldiers agree to a
reluctant truce, at least until the warehouse and its
contents are restored.
Based on the long-running play written by
Jang Jin, Welcome to Dongmakgol is directed by Park
Kwang-hyun, previously responsible for the beautiful
"My Nike" segment in the omnibus film No Comment
(2002). The fantasy sequences are brilliantly
combined with the more evidently theatre-driven
set pieces. One jaw-dropping moment is a sequence
involving a boar.
Welcome to Dongmakgol's power must be
attributed to its director Park Kwang-hyun. He does
a superb job of walking the tightrope between fidelity
to the genre conventions and the logic of humanist
fantasy on the one hand and a realistic evocation of
the war experience and its very real tragedy on the
other. Welcome to Dongmakgol has been rated as
one of the most accomplished feature film debuts of
a Korean filmmaker.