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Jiseul

Recreating little-known tragic events that occurred on Jeju Island off the southern coast of Korea, this powerful film tells a harrowing story. In 1948, following an uprising after soldiers fired on a gathering of protestors, the South Korean government, in collusion with the United States military, cracked down on the island’s residents, ordering them to report to the military or be executed as Communists. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 people died in the subsequent strife, which lasted until 1954. With elegant, stark black and white images, Jeju-based independent filmmaker Muel O. alternates between a group of villagers who retreat to a remote cave to avoid capture, and the soldiers sent to kill or capture their fellow citizens. With its stately camera movements, vast wintry landscapes, and deep empathy for characters on both sides of the conflict, Jiseul has the force of a requiem. In Korean with English subtitles. Directed by Muel O. Produced by Ko Hyuk-jin.

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