From Somalia to DMZ, TV films revive memories of Korean WarOn June 25, 1950, the Korean peninsula was torn apart as war broke out between North and South Korea. But half a century has passed since the cease-fire, and images of destruction and pain have faded from most minds. In commemoration of the Korean War’s 53d anniversary, several television stations are offering material to refresh the memory.
For the next four days, the cable movie network Catch On will show films that don’t gloss over the brutality of war. “Bangrajan” (Legend of the Village Warriors), an award-winning Thai film about a group of 18th-century villagers and their fight against Burmese invaders, will be broadcast today. “War Is Over” will air tomorrow and “K-19: the Widowmaker” Friday. Catch On rounds off the sequence with “Black Hawk Down” Saturday.
“War is Over,” based in Italy during fascist rule, is a romantic drama that deals with the lives and loves of youngsters during World War II. By contrast, the thriller “K-19: the Widowmaker” takes on the Cold War conflict.
The film, based on the true story of a Russian nuclear submarine that malfunctioned on its maiden voyage in 1961, casts action star Harrison Ford as the Russian captain. Ford’s deviation from his usual role as an American hero will be a welcome change for many viewers.
The award-winning “Black Hawk Down” focuses on the more recent conflict in Somalia. Directed by Ridley Scott and jointly produced by Scott and Jerry Bruckheimer of “Armageddon” and “Pearl Harbor” fame, this film won two Oscars in 2001. Josh Hartnett and Ewan MacGregor star as U.S. peacekeeping troops who become embroiled in the conflict.
Meanwhile, the movie channel OCN is offering Korean-language films on North-South relations today.
The acclaimed “Joint Security Area,” will air this afternoon at 2:30. This tragicomedy, based on the Park Sang-yeon novel “DMZ,” deals with the murders of North and South Korean soldiers near the Demilitarized Zone. Song Kang-ho, recent winner of this year’s Golden Bell ― Korea’s version of the Oscars ― delivers a memorable performance in the role of a North Korean soldier.
On the more serious side, MBC is airing a special rerun of selections from its documentary series, “Untold Story.” Episodes dealing with newly discovered facts about the Korean War are currently showing at 12:15 p.m. through Friday.
The two-part series “McArthur and the Korean War” will air today, with “Crisis on the Korean Peninsula” will be featured on Friday.
by Chong Chi Hyon