To the Starry Island (1994)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - South Korea  |  
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This South Korean drama makes a poignant case for the reunification of north and south as it uses childhood memories to chronicle the events that divided the population of a small island. The film begins in modern times and looks back. Moon Chae-ku and Kim Chul have been friends since childhood. Together they are returning to Kwisong Island to bury Moon's father. Unfortunately, bitter locals will not let the boat containing his body land. Moot tries to talk to them, but they are adamant. Kim begins to remember the 40-year old events that led to this moment. Kim again becomes a baby. Oknim is a young village woman with mild mental retardation. Before her wedding she tells Kim how the souls of the dead become stars. He remembers Moon Duk-bae, his friend's philandering, uncaring father who watched his sickly daughter die and his wife go mad with grief and then sent her to her death which caused the whole conflict. Moon Duk-bae also helped the Nationalist Army find and execute supposed Communists upon the tiny island. In the present it is a shaman that brings them all back together.

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Keywords

occupation [military], oppression, atrocity, friendship, funeral, memory, reunification, slice-of-life, war, war-atrocities