February 11, 2004 14:19
'Taegukgi' (The Korean Flag Waves), a movie about the crossing fates of brothers forced to fight in the Korean War revives the memories of a turbulent time in history. Just days after its release, Taegukgi clocked over 2 million admissions at the national box office, outdoing previous records set by mega-blockbusters Silmido and 'The Lord of the Rings.'
Even before it hit the silver screens, the Korean War epic has been setting a number of records. It's not only the most expensive domestic film ever costing nearly US$13 million but also the grandest production in scale that required 25 thousand extras on life-size sets spread out in 18 locations across the country to recreate the battlezones of Seoul and Pyeongyang in the early 1950s.
The film is being screened at 440 movie theaters around the nation and it attracted some 324,000 moviegoers on its first day of release which is an all-time high in Korean film history. Taegukgi is proving to be a definite crowd-pleaser, attracting young audiences for its gung-ho action shots and star-studded cast including Korea's hottest heartthrobs, Jang Dong-gun and Won Bin.
"I'm so proud that such a movie was made in Korea, and I was impressed by the lead actors' performances. I am truly touched."a audience said. It also brings back memories for those who lived through the Korean conflict. "I myself have gone through the Korean War, and the film portrayed the brutality of the war so realistically that the memory all came back to me."
In an attempt to test its market potential overseas, Taegukgi is offering English subtitles as well. "My friends and I have been trying to find a Korean movie that would help to depict the time of the Korean War, and this movie has English subtitles so, we can understand it."a foreigner said.
As Taegukgi flies high at local box offices it's setting its sights overseas. "I wanted to show the potential of Korean movies to Asia and the rest of the world." Kang Je-gyu, director of the movie said. Director Kang held Korea's first world premier in a first step toward landing his work on American shores. That's the biggest challenge yet for the star filmmaker as he hopes to win over audiences in the world's biggest movie market with a uniquely Korean theme.
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