One of the movies which could be seen on this year's Berlinale filmfestival was “My Way” which had its premiere in Korea only few months prior to this event turning the festival in the first that screens the film outside of South Korea.
When an assassination was attempted on Tatsuo's grandfather, Joon Siks father is being blamed and the family is being chased away. Opponents turn into enemies. At the Olympic Games Koreans are being prohibited to participate by the Japanese. However Joon Sik is permitted to participate based on his extraordinary talent. When he wins, he is being disqualified. An uproar arises and Joon Sik and his friends are being arrested and are obliged to serve the imperial Japanese army. Serving for the ones which oppress their home country. Tatsuo joins the army after the beginning of war and there the young men meet again. The film follows them through the insanity of the war through the world, over to imprisonment in Russia to Germany until D-Day in the Normandy.
The end sequence is also the beginning of the film: One of the two men survived the years of war and runs the marathon.
The film is loosely based on a true story, that filmmaker Kang Je-Gyu has seen in a documentation, which was about a Korean soldier who was a member of the German “Heer”. How this is possible, "My Way" shows in brutal, accurate and atmospheric dense pictures. The script was finished in 2008, but it was not until 2010 when it was filming started and ended after 10 months. Kang Je-Gyus commitment was worth it. "My Way" shows exactly like "Letters from Iwo Jima" the war, from a non- American perspective and allows the audience to have access to a piece of history which is not well-known to the Western movie audience.
It is dealing with misled patriotism, loyalty and betrayal. The cruelty of war is rustlessly shown and the film understands to captivate the viewers from the first moment to dismiss them without releasing them.
"My Way" is impressive and should not be missed out.
© Esther Klung / Translation: Kim Dinh
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