“Jiseul,” a film based on the Jeju Massacre, has been selected as a final competitor in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition. Written and directed by O Muel, the film centers around the inhabitants of a village who, when their village is labeled as communist by the government, try to hide in one of Jeju’s many caves.
Out of the 12,146 films that were submitted for consideration in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, 4,044 were feature-length. Of these, only 113 were selected to participate in the festival, a number which was winnowed to 12 in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival will be held in the Utah cities of Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, from January 17 - 27, 2013.
“Jiseul,” which means potato in the Jeju dialect uses the Jeju Massacre as its backdrop. The period known as the Jeju Massacre, or the 4.3 Massacre, began in 1948 when President Syngman Rhee declared Jeju a “red island.” The Korean government ordered the Communists’ eviction from Jeju Island, and sent the military to enforce the decree. Frightened Jeju locals sometimes hid in caves.
O Muel’s “Jiseul” has received the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) award, the Citizen Critic Award, the Director Prize from the Director’s Guild of Korea (DGK) and the CGV Movie Collage Award at the festival, as well as receiving positive reviews from the Busan International Film Festival in Oct. 2012. It is slated to premiere in South Korea in March 2013.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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