Film Screening

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.
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