Lee Tae (Ahn Sung-ki), a travelling correspondent for the North Korean news agency, finds himself plunged into battle as the tide begins to turn against Kim Il-sung’s army and partisan auxiliaries fighting in the South. Long after he has traded in pen for rifle, he and his comrades will experience small victories, but they are gradually overwhelmed by the merciless forces arrayed against them – including the remorseless Korean winter.
Thirty-five years after Piagol (1955), a South Korean director dared make a film sympathetic to the idealism, bravery and desperation of these intimate enemies up in the mountains. Chung Ji-young was sticking his neck out, this early into an era of halting democratisation. He had the help of the real Lee Tae’s powerful memoire, turned into a solid scenario by brand-new director Jang Sun-woo, as well as the support of his actors, from veteran Ahn to rising star Choi Jin-sil.
Followed by a Q&A with the director
- BBFC rating
- Running time
- 157 mins
- South Korea
- Other features
- Chung Ji-young
- Ahn Sung-ki, Choi Jin-sil, Choi Min-soo