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Swing Kids
摇摆劲舞团

Format(s) Available
DIGITAL
Opening Date
17 Jan 2019
Rating
NC16 Violence and Some Coarse Language
Runtime
133 mins
Language
Korean with English & Chinese subtitles
Genre
Drama
Director
Kang Hyeong-cheol
Cast
Do Kyung Soo, Park Hye Soo, Jared Grimes, Oh Jung-se, Kim Min-Ho
Synopsis
Story taking place in Geoje prison camp during the Korean War in 1951. Ro Ki-soo (Do Kyung-soo), a rebellious North Korean soldier who falls in love with tap dancing after meeting Jackson (Jared Grimes), an officer from Broadway. Roh Ki-soo then joins Jackson's produced dance group. Kang Byung-sam (Oh Jung-se) dances with the wind in hopes of finding his wife, Xiao Fang (Kim Min-Ho), a Chinese soldier who was born with a talent in dancing but cannot dance for more than a minute due to Angina, and Yang Pan-rae (Park Hye-su) who makes money through dancing, become a group
Reviews
By Say Peng  10 Jan 2019
While the film’s message of inclusivity and diversity can come off as a little on-the-nose and simplistic, one cannot deny its sincerity and earnestness. In our time of Trump and divisive politics, a movie like Swing Kids to remind us of our common humanity is more than welcome.
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Set in the Koje prisoners-of-war camp during the Korean War in 1951, ‘Swing Kids’ tells the highly unlikely story of how a racially diverse quintet of prisoners-of-war come together to form a tap dance band. The lead of the film is Korean popstar D.O., or Do Kyung-soo, who plays North Korean communist Ki-Soo, the younger brother of a celebrated war hero. Everyone expects Ki-Soo to be a younger version of his brother, but it turns out he’s anything but. What Ki-Soo wants to do is dance, and not just any dance, but the very American dance of tap dance.

One day, the American army general, General Roberts, who runs the POW camp comes up with the idea of forming a tap dance group to entertain the prisoners and lift their morale. To that end, Roberts charged sergeant Jackson (Jared Grimes), an African American who was formerly a Broadway tap dancer, to train a group of prisoners so that they can put on a show for the media.

After auditioning hundreds of hopeful but talentless prisoners, Jackson has his rough and tumble crew - a portly baby-faced Chinese named Xiao Fang (Kim Min-Ho) who has the agility of a ballet dancer; a South Korean anti-communist Kang Byung-sam (Oh Jung-se) who joins the troupe only so that if he becomes famous, he is able to find his missing wife; a young woman named Yang Pan-rae (Yang Pan-rae from the TV series ‘Introverted Boss’) who acts as translator for everyone because she can speak four languages; and finally Ki-Soo, the most temperamental of the lot.

Admittedly, the plot is somewhat predictable, but what makes the film still engrossing to watch is the numerous tap dance sequences and the great chemistry shared amongst the cast. The light-hearted dance scenes are well balanced with the darker tones of the movie that explores issues of racism and war.

While the film’s message of inclusivity and diversity can come off as a little on-the-nose and simplistic, one cannot deny its sincerity and earnestness. In our time of Trump and divisive politics, a movie like Swing Kids to remind us of our common humanity is more than welcome.
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