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6 Korean Movies Based on (or Inspired by) True Events

By Flora  /  05 Sep 2018 (Wednesday)
It's always interesting to know that a movie with such a dramatic turn of events, is actually based on a true story or is inspired by a human being that lived to tell the tale.

Here are 6 Korean movies - from action thrillers to crime dramas - that are based on, or inspired by true events that occurred in the past. 

Memories of Murder (2003)

Directed by Bong Joon-ho, the crime drama is regarded as one of the greatest Korean films and is based on the story of the country’s first serial killer that murdered 10 women between 1986 and 1991 - ranging from a 71-year-old grandmother to a 13-year-old schoolgirl. Over 3,000 suspects were interrogated and at least 300,000 police took part in the massive investigation. Not a single person was indicted for the crimes. It remains unsolved till today. 

Silenced (2011)

Also known as ‘The Crucible’, the movie was inspired by actual events at Gwangju Inhwa School for the hearing-impaired where students were sexually assaulted by the school staff over a period of five years in the early 2000s and the issue was finally brought to light by a newly-appointed teacher. The accused teachers were left off with minimal punishment and some were even reinstated. After the movie was released, there was a public outrage over the lenient court rulings, prompting police to reopen the case. The movie starred pre-Goblin Korean heartthrob Gong Yoo and Jung Yu Mi.

Hope (2013)

Awarded the ‘Best Film’ at Blue Dragon Film Award in 2013, Hope is based on the infamous 2008 Nayoung case where an 8-year-old girl was found nearly dead in a public toilet. The authorities convicted a 57-year-old man – who had a history of sexual assaults – for raping and beating Nayoung but was only sentenced to a mere 12 years imprisonment, which sparked an outrage in the country due to the brutality of the crime and the man’s history of violence. RaMi-ran won a couple of Best Supporting Actress for her performance in this film as well. 

Northern Limit Line (2015)

Northern Limit Line is based on the true story known as the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong where North Korean vessels entered South Korean waters and launched a surprise attack on a South Korean patrol boat named Chamsuri 357. The incident which happened during the 2002 FIFA World Cup, killed six men and left 18 injured. The film starred Kim Mu-yeol, Jin Goo and Lee Hyun-woo. Directed by Kim Hak-soon, North Limit Line took seven years in the making, which topped the box office on its opening day and was the most-watch Korean film in 2015.

The Battleship Island (2017) 

Starring some of the best Korean actors, Hwang Jung-min, So Ji-sub, Song Joong-ki and Lee Jung-hyun, The Battleship Island is set in the Japanese occupation-era about an attempted prison break of roughly 400 Korean people from a forced labour camp on the Hashima Island, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Directed by Ryoo Seung-wan, the action-drama film covered its US$21 million production cost after the first five days of its premiere. 

The director and cast came to Singapore to promote the film where they shared that it was important for them personally to be involved in this movie.  

The Spy Gone North (2018)

Based on the exploits of South Korean secret agent “Black Venus”, Yoon Jong-bin’s The Spy Gone North is loosely based on how army general Park Suk-young (played by Hwang Jung-min) infiltrate North Korea in order to gather details of its nuclear statuses. He managed to broker a bogus advertising deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in order to document his burgeoning nuclear weapons programme.

The film also stars Lee Sung-min, Cho Jin-woong and Ju Ji-hoon and is opening InCinemas 6 September 2018! Check out the movie review here.
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