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National Security (Namyeong-dong 1985) trailer, fantastic film

NationalSecurity.jpgI watched National Security (Namyeong-dong 1985) at the Edinburgh International Film Festival this year and was surprised at how good a film it is. Reading the initial blurb for it I thought this might be some political activist tale of morality, it also read as a story that could focus too much on the horrific events and not the emotional and human side. How wrong you can be from a blurb.

The actual film is much more personal and looks at the effects that torture has on the person, not just the one being tortured either but also on the man carrying out the torture. It turns out to be a very personal and intimate story that does have its incredibly uncomfortable moments, but also has a lot to tell us, especially today.

Here's the blurb for the excellent National Security (Namyeong-dong 1985):

On September 4, 1984, democracy movement leader Kim Jong Tae (Park Won Sang) is arrested and taken to an infamous interrogation facility in Namyeong-dong. For the next 22 days, he would be cruelly and continuously tortured in all manners by interrogators intent on forcing him to confess to communist collaboration.

The film does grab you from early on and keep you focussed on the main character, making you feel the events from his perspective and keeping you emotionally engaged with him. The film never tries to leap away and make bold political statements but does do a great job of leading you to what can happen in the name of national security.

By looking at past events which could have been kept quiet and left behind them, this South Korean film not only shows a willingness to revisit a darker past to try and move forward but also to try and highlight events that are happening around the world in a different and more thought provoking way.

Here's the trailer through TrailerAddict for National Security (Namyeong-dong 1985):

It's an excellent film which I do suggest you seek out and watch. At times it is disturbing and even upsetting to watch but none of this is for titillation or entertainment, there's a reason for making you feel like this and that's to make you try and understand in the smallest of ways, what it would have been like for one of these people being tortured and interrogated. With an unflinching and immersive performance from the leading actor we get just that.

This is a film that will stay with you for some time after watching it, and maybe it will make you look reflectively at the world today and not just to events in South Korea's past.




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