Saturday, May 18, 2013

May 18th

Today marks the thirty third anniversary of the start of the Gwangju massacre. Hundreds killed, thousands of lives ruined.

It's worth taking the time to discover more about what happened. If you can get your hands on "Kwangju in the Eyes of the World", it's a fascinating read. Though you may find it easier to get a hold of "Korea Witness" (a wonderful collection of essays covering the past century or so), which devotes a fair amount of space to the incidents of 1980.

If neither of those tickle your fancy then I'll leave you with one of the first Korean films I ever saw - Peppermint Candy (박하 사탕 - released in 1999) - Lee Chang-dong's heartbreaking tale of one man's destruction and what brought him there in the first place. The film has strong ties to Gwangju and the democratisation movement, and charts Korea's turbulent journey from the 1980's onwards to the new millenium.

It's worth a watch if you have a couple of hours free, but be warned, it is an intense and emotionally painful journey into Korea's past. 

No comments: