The Memory of the 25th Hour
HD 78 min.
Dir. Sungeun Kim
The film recounts the day of Gangjeong village, when the massive crackdown was operated on the protestors of anti-naval base movement at the new military housing construction site in 2015. Exploring the possibility of filmmaking as a means of active memory, this film follows the life of activism after its visible phases.
The film traces the memories of the villagers’ 10 year-long resistance against the naval base construction in Gangjeong village in Jeju Island, South Korea. Facing yet another police crackdown on the protestors’ encampment at the new military housing complex construction site on January 31, 2015, one of the activists said: “We’re living the 25th hour.” The sustainability of the hour becomes questioned throughout the film, as the day unfolds evoking different moments in the history of the struggle. Exploring the possibility of filmmaking as a means of active memory, this film follows the life of activism after its visible phases.
Jeju Island where Gangjeong village is located has suffered a history of marginalization from the rest of S.Korea due to the islanders’ uprising against the Single S.Korean government on Apirl 3rd in 1948. Under the operation name “Red Hunt” the ultra-rightist paramilitary was dispatched by the US military government, which massacred over 30,000 islanders. The memories of the 4.3 were suppressed throughout the modern history of S.Korea in its cold war policy. The continuing resistance in Gangjeong, therefore, signifies the active remembering of the historical oppression through the current civil disobedience. In filmmaking process I was searching for the “counter-narrative” while participating in their “time of resistance” contrary to the indeterminacy affected by the narrative of militarism.