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Anarchist from the Colony Image

Anarchist from the Colony

Park Yeol

Gateway | Dragons & Tigers

On 1 September, 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake devastated east Japan. In the mass panic that ensued, rumors circulated that ethnic Koreans were poisoning wells and setting homes on fire. This became a pretext for the massacre of thousands of Koreans, many of whom were imported as forced or cheap labor. Park Yeol (Lee Jehoon) and his Japanese wife Kaneko Fumiko (Choi Hee-seo), both anarchists dedicated to subverting imperialism, were made scapegoats and put on trial for treason. They seized the occasion to publicize their independence cause and ideals of equality.

Inspired by real figures, Anarchist recounts a barbaric page in Japan’s colonial history not widely known abroad. One of few Korean films that deals with its colonized past without fervid nationalism, or demonization of all Japanese characters, it instead celebrates the revolutionaries’ free spirit and humour, and the epoch’s romanticism and intellectual rigour. Lee, the hearthrob lead of TV drama Signal, cuts a dashing, unconventional figure as a wild, unruly dreamer, while Choi is a feisty and flirtatious presence as a fighter for female emancipation. As in his record hits The King and the Clown and The Throne (South Korea’s 2015 Foreign Language Oscar entry), director Lee Joonik demonstrates a unique heft in depicting the treacherous maneouverings of the ruling elite to evade accountability, through fake news and the targeting of minorities.

North American premiere
Director Lee Joonik
Country of Origin: South Korea/Japan
Year: 2017
Running Time: 129 mins
Format: DCP
Language:In Korean with English subtitles
Cast: Lee Jehoon, Choi Heeseo, Kim Inwoo
Executive Producer: Kim Jinsun
Producer: Lee Jungse, Sean Kim
Screenwriter: Hwang Sunggoo
Cinematographer: Park Sungju
Editor: Kim Jeonghoon
Production Design: Lee Jaesung
Music: Bang Junsuk
Print Source: M-Line Distribution


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