Director: Hwang Dong-hyuk
Cast: Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, Kim Hyun-soo, Jung In-seo, Baek Seung-hwan, Jang Gwang
Sunny and Silenced are two Korean films I have watched in 2012 and both are excellent. Silenced is a poignant and depressing movie based on a true event that happened in a special school where the deaf children are abused by the Principal and teachers. In the first half of the movie, the horrible abuses are unveiled one by one. The second half is a courtroom drama.
The movie is an emotional ride which tugs at your heartstrings. At the scene in which the teacher is on the verge of tears and the boy cries his eyes out and struggles to express his overwhelming pent-up emotions upon knowing that his grandmother has forgiven the culprit, some members of the audience will be moved to tears. Where might is master, justice is servant, which is cruel, but real. It is also uplifting to see the teacher remain steadfast in his determination to bring the culprits to justice, despite his daughter's plight.
As for the setting, the misty mountains and creepy campus create an eerie atmosphere. I also love the montage at the beginning of the movie. The kid is just like the deer, innocent and pure.
The perversion of justice prevails when Christians are blinded by their unquestionable faith, teachers are heartless, policemen, lawyers, the judge and the security guard are corrupted by money, civil servants shirk their responsibility and shift the work onto others and others remain silent. Martin Luther King is right. In the end, we remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Amid those humans who are evil but influential in society, justice is shrouded in a thick gray mist.
Reviewed by: Kenji Chan