Nations do not fight wars; their citizens fight them.
Nations do not suffer from wars; their people do.
Haven't seen a movie that hit me right home for a long time. This time, when the Jin-Tae, the older brother in the movie, turned his machine gun at the Communist Soldiers, only to cover his little brother's retreat from the frontline, it was near to impossible to hold my tears any more. In what position can we judge a person, a sensible being, for turning traitor twice?
A question was asked twice by their band officer to Jin-Tae: Who are you fighting for? Your country or your brother? Something hit me right there.
I realised something that is long missing in our own war films. Personal accounts, emotions and above all, the spirit of questioning. The questioning of war itself has long been ignored intentionally or unconsciously by our directors. Patriotism is never a reason or a question; rather, it's absolute, sublime, and non-negotiable. I have been used to the masked patriotism and the encouraged heroism whatsoever, but have we ever asked ourselves, as Jin-seok did in the film, a simple question: why？Put aside everything fancy and conspicuous added on them, they are after all, human beings, no different from anyone else, who have people they want to protect and fight for.
I have been so sick of the "indoctrinating type" of the wartime movies or TV shows we made, where our soldiers are all living saints and the enemies are pure devils. It could be encouraging to blow the Nationalists up because they are bad thus deserve to be wiped out from existence. Well, I know we have every right to hate the Japanese invaders, but why the Nationalists as well? I've never seen a single movie in China that has presented us the cruelty and brutality of the Civil War, that has dehumanised wars and focused on specific characters from both sides, that has made us wonder and asked the question: why Brothers and Sisiters are justified to cannibalise?
Patriosim falls victim to overriding ideology and overt propaganda when it has become the only reason that people fight for. We've forgotten a basic fact that before being identified as citizens, we live as humans.
We won the war but that doesn't mean we can glorify our killings. Wars are just as cruel as hell to everyone, in which there is no rights or wrongs, but only survival and death.
A simple question could have done.
A simple question would have done.