Arab Today, arab today \the attorney\ taps into south korean wave of discontent
Last Updated : GMT 07:44:17
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

\'The Attorney\' taps into South Korean wave of discontent

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today \'The Attorney\' taps into South Korean wave of discontent

Seoul - AFP

A film casting a nostalgic eye on a former left-leaning president has become a box office phenomenon in South Korea, powered by what some see as growing discontent with Seoul's conservative political landscape. As President Park Geun-Hye looked back this week on her first year in office, moviegoers have been looking further back to the early 1980s -- a period of political upheaval that provides the setting for "The Attorney." The film tells the story of an opportunistic tax attorney who throws away personal ambitions to defend a group of innocent students falsely accused of sedition. The storyline is taken from actual events and the lead character is clearly based on the late Roh Moo-Hyun, who became a human-rights advocate and later South Korea's president. Since its December 18 release, the film has been seen by more than 11 million people -- more than 20 percent of the population. In just 33 days, it became only the tenth South Korean movie to sell 10 million tickets. "The Attorney" features one of South Korea's best-known actors in the title role, and the storyline of the reformed lawyer representing the underdog against the establishment has a classic populist appeal. But critics say the film has also successfully tapped into simmering discontent, and nostalgia for a period before the country's booming economy spawned a more materialist culture. - Shock at presidential suicide - Roh Moo-Hyun left a divided legacy. A liberal firebrand with a common touch, he served as president from 2003 to 2008, before jumping to his death a year later as a corruption probe closed in on his family. Roh's approval rating was only 11 percent during his final year in office, but his suicide came as a profound shock. The rural village where the late president grew up -- and which now houses his grave -- has always been popular but after the film came out, the number of monthly visitors surged more than 50 percent and topped 93,000 in January. The background of "The Attorney" is the 1981 "Burim Case" in which 22 students and workers were arrested on trumped-up charges. It was widely seen as an attempt by strongman Chun Doo-Hwan, who had seized power in a coup the year before, to discredit the pro-democracy movement. Roh was one of the defence lawyers at the trial. After signing confessions under torture, 19 of the group were jailed for up to six years. Roh's presidency marked the end of a 10-year experiment with liberal leadership -- a period best known for the "Sunshine Policy" with North Korea that produced two historic summits. He was replaced by the conservative Lee Myung-Bak who was in turn followed in 2013 by the incumbent Park Geun-Hye. Park is the daughter of late military strongman Park Chung-Hee whose iron-fisted rule through the 1960s and 70s still bitterly divides Koreans. Although Park has enjoyed high approval ratings since taking office, some see her style as a throwback to an authoritarian past, and there was widespread disquiet over intelligence agency meddling in the 2012 presidential election. A slowing economy has highlighted disparities thrown up by the boom years, fuelling calls for economic and social reform. It is in this climate that "The Attorney" with its crusading, idealistic message has struck a chord. - Sense of injustice - "A movie like this is usually a hard sell, but the current government laid out a perfect platform for "The Attorney" to become a smash hit," said Chin Jung-Kwon, a noted liberal commentator. Moon Jae-In, the former Roh aide who ran against Park in the 2012 presidential poll, rented a whole movie theater to watch the film with supporters and some of the real-life Burim Case defendants. Park's ruling Saenuri Party dismissed it as a "mere work of fiction". Director Yang Woo-Seok insists he had no particular agenda but acknowledged that the film had been well timed. "The box office success we're seeing now can't be explained simply with the quality of the movie itself," Yang told AFP. "I think a sense of political injustice prevails among many South Koreans, who saw in our film a way to vent their frustration," he said. Nostalgia for Roh Moo-Hyun was also credited with fuelling the success of 2012's "Gwanghae" -- a period drama that became the fourth-highest-grossing Korean film. Many drew parallels between Roh and the lead character -- a humble acrobat who stands in for a Joseon dynasty king. Other celluloid efforts have been intentionally polemical, including "Namyeong-dong 1985" -- a 2012 movie which details the torture of a real-life democracy activist in 1985. "Moviemakers are always looking for what appeals to today's audiences, and they've found that movies featuring evil, bad state authorities sell these days," Kim Sun-Yub, a Seoul film critic, told AFP. A recent editorial in the conservative Chosun Ilbo newspaper said films like "The Attorney" were evidence of a near-universal "liberal bias" in cultural circles. "Some liberal moviemakers, encouraged by the success of 'The Attorney,' may be busy honing new scenarios now -- with the 2017 presidential election in mind," the editorial warned.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today \the attorney\ taps into south korean wave of discontent Arab Today, arab today \the attorney\ taps into south korean wave of discontent

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today Blind sheikh buried in Egypt

GMT 06:32 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Blind sheikh buried in Egypt
Arab Today, arab today Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success

GMT 15:32 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success

GMT 09:37 2017 Monday ,13 February

'Lego Batman' beats 'Fifty Shades Darker'

GMT 09:46 2017 Monday ,30 January

Shyamalan's 'Split' rules N. America box office

GMT 06:37 2017 Monday ,23 January

Egypt revolution thriller premieres at Sundance

GMT 00:32 2017 Wednesday ,11 January

'Rogue One' shot down at box office by 'Hidden Figures'

GMT 03:28 2017 Sunday ,08 January

Rumi film to challenge Muslim stereotypes
View News in Arabic - Culture: أفلام عربية
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today To hold social dialogue over secondary school

GMT 07:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

To hold social dialogue over secondary school
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Salma Rashid happy for 'A Whisper of Love'

GMT 05:19 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Salma Rashid happy for 'A Whisper of Love'
Arab Today, arab today Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 06:41 2017 Monday ,20 February

Janat pleased for issuing 'Good Morning'

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 14:29 2017 Monday ,20 February

Prepares to present her new collection

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 05:15 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Omega 3 can reduce asthma cases

GMT 19:16 2017 Friday ,17 February

Aziz House ready to host the tourists

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:39 2017 Monday ,20 February

newest smartphone another winner for Huawei

GMT 19:10 2017 Friday ,17 February

Hats, scarves add beauty to women
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday