This year DIFF 2012 did a wonderful job showcase the world-wide appeal of the festival. The South Korean Spotlight shined brightly with My Way taking home the Narrative Feature Audience Award. Click thru for the Q & A that followed the film’s Tuesday evening screening and for more information on this gripping tale from South Korean Director Je-kyu Kang.
Kang Je-kyu nearly quit making films before his 1999 blockbuster action movie, SHIRI, made him the Steven Spielberg of Korean cinema. He followed that with 2004’s TAE GUK GI: THE BROTHERHOOD OF WAR, which won several of Korea’s equivalent of the Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Director. MY WAY, the most expensive Korean movie to date, is his third feature.
In colonial-era Seoul in 1938, two young men knew each other as rivals, both in terms of country and in terms of personal competitiveness. Joon-sik (Jang Dong-gun) is a Korean man who dreams of following in the footsteps of Olympic marathon gold medal winner Sohn Kee-chung. Tatsuo (Joe Odagiri) is a top Japanese marathon runner who knew Joon-sik when his family worked for Tatsuo’s as servants.
One day, Joon-sik falls into trouble and is conscripted into the Japanese army. One year later, Joon-sik again serves Tatsuo, now a captain for the Japanese Imperial Army, during World War II. The men endure countless battles in Nomonhan, China, Germany and the Soviet Union, inspiring hope for survival in each other despite their ethnic and nationalist feelings.
MY WAY is the latest film from SHIRI director Kang Je-kyu, the father of the modern day Korean blockbuster movie. With a reported budget of $28 million, MY WAY is Korea’s most expensive film in history.