(Korean Movies) The Battleship Island, 2017

The Battleship Island, 2017

The Battleship Island, 2017
Audience over 15
running time
132 minutes
cumulative audience
6592151 people
20th Udine Far East Film Festival 2018


1945 during the Japanese occupation.
Gang-ok (Hwang Jeong-min), leader of the Gyeongseong Bando Hotel, and his only daughter, So-hee (Kim Su-an). Then, Koreans with different stories, such as Chil-seong (So Ji-seop), the fist that gripped the Jongno area, and the “late years” (Lee Jung-hyun), who went through all kinds of hardships under Japanese rule, were deceived by the words that they could make money in Japan and headed to Warship Island. However, the ship they rode together arrived at the 'Hell Island' warship island, where Koreans were forced to be conscripted and exploited as laborers.

A warship is also a warship where Koreans who were brought without knowing the English language have to work in a barrage 1,000 meters deep under the sea, at the risk of a gas explosion every day. Kang-ok does everything he can to please the Japanese officials and protect his daughter So-hee, while Chil-seong and later years endure painful days in their own way. Meanwhile, as the war draws to a close, OSS agent Moo-yeong (Song Joong-ki) belonging to the Liberation Army infiltrates the warship island after receiving orders to rescue key figures in the independence movement.

As the US bombardment of all of Japan begins and Japan's defeat intensifies, Japan tries to blow up Koreans by imprisoning them in tunnels to cover up all the atrocities committed against Koreans on the warship island. Mu-yeong-eun, who noticed this, decides to escape from the warship island with all the Koreans, including Kang-ok, Chil-seong, and the latter…!

Escape from Hell Island warships, risking the lives of Koreans, begins!

[ Prologue ]

#One. Warship Island?
Warship Island is an island located about 18 km southwest of Nagasaki Port in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. Its original name was 'Hashima (端島)', but it is called 'Battleship Island' because it resembles the Japanese naval warship 'Tosa'. Gunhamdo is an artificial island the size of two soccer fields, 480m from north to south and 160m from east to west. After the existence of coal was confirmed in the 19th century, it became owned by the Mitsubishi Corporation from 1890. In 1916, the first high-rise apartment buildings with a reinforced concrete structure were built in Japan, which were mostly wooden single-story or two-story houses, and in 1960, when the population reached its peak, there were coal mine facilities and houses, schools, stores, hospitals, temples, movie theaters, barber shops, hairdressers, social centers, etc. It was equipped with various facilities such as a swimming pool and city functions. After 1960, as the main energy shifted from coal to oil, warships also declined. In 1965, a new mine in the Mitsuse area was developed and temporarily restored, but under the influence of energy policies after the 1970s, the mountain was closed on January 15, 1974, and the Battleship Island became an uninhabited island.

#2. The warship map, the hidden truth
Warship Island was the place where many Koreans were forcibly conscripted from 1940 to 1945 after the Pacific War. During the Japanese colonial period, when there was not enough population to produce coal, the Japanese government forcibly conscripted young Koreans based on the National Mobilization Act promulgated in 1938. The tunnels of the warship island, called 'Hell Island' or 'Prison Island' by the Koreans, were over 1,000 m below the sea level and had an average temperature of 45 degrees or more, and were exposed to gas explosion accidents. It was reported that small boys were forcibly conscripted because it was a cramped space where even the waist could not be stretched out. As such, Koreans who were forcibly conscripted into subsea coal mines with poor working conditions were mobilized for mining for more than 12 hours a day. Some of them fell ill due to unsuitable mining conditions, died from coal mine accidents or malnutrition, and drowned in the sea while trying to escape. According to the <Basic Survey on the Damages of Koreans to Forcibly Mobilized the Hashima Coal Mine from the Death Records> (2012) of the Support Committee for the Investigation of Damages to the Forced Mobilization of the Japanese Conflict and Victims of Forced Mobilization from Overseas, an agency under the Prime Minister’s Office, between 1943 and 1945 It is estimated that between 500 and 800 Koreans were conscripted and forced to work here. Of these, 134 died on the island, and the number of missing or concealed deaths is estimated to be much higher.

#3. The warship is an unfinished story
On July 5, 2015, 23 modern industrial facilities in Japan, including the Hashima Coal Mine, where Koreans were forced to work during the Japanese colonial period, were declared a World Heritage Site by the World Heritage Committee under the name of 'Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mine Industry'. has been registered During the registration process, Korea and Japan did not narrow their opinions until the last minute about the reflection of the historical fact that forced labor was mobilized. Dramatically, Gunham Island was able to be registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Japanese side acknowledged the forced labor of Koreans in the 1940s and promised to set up an information center to commemorate the victims of the facility, and decided to implement it by December 1, 2017, and report the results to the UNESCO World Heritage Center. However, nearly two years have passed since the listing, and so far, that promise has not been fulfilled. Mitsubishi Corporation, which owns Hashima, also apologized to the American prisoners of war and Chinese workers who had been forced to work in Hashima in the past and announced that it acknowledged its historical responsibility, but neither apologized nor compensated the Koreans. Currently, the historical fact of forced labor has been erased and the warship island is being promoted only as a symbol of Japan's modernization and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

[ About Movie ]

An island of hell worse than hell, 'Battleship Island'
The desperate escape of the Koreans
In the summer of 2017, the hot story of the Battleship Island begins.

Hashima is located 18km southwest of Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. It is called 'Battleship Island' because it resembles the shape of a warship, and it prospered from the late 19th century to the 1950s and 1960s as a result of 'Mitsubishi's coal mining business. It is hidden. Koreans who were mobilized for coal mining work without even being able to straighten their backs for more than 12 hours a day, fell ill due to poor conditions, suffered from safety accidents and malnutrition in the mines, and even drowned in the sea while trying to escape. However, on July 5, 2015, Japan succeeded in listing the warship island as a symbol of modernization and industrial revolution as a UNESCO World Heritage Site while completely erasing the history of forced mobilization of Koreans. In July 2017, two years after that, the movie <Battleship Island>, which added the imagination of 'escape' to the historical facts of the Battleship Island, was released on the screen for the first time.

<Battleship Island> is a movie depicting the story of Koreans who risk their lives to escape after being forcibly conscripted on the Battleship Island during the Japanese colonial period. Director Ryoo Seung-wan, who captivated 13.41 million viewers with his exhilarating catharsis and exhilarating entertainment that reflected the contemporary in his previous work <Veteran>, began to envision the story of <Battleship Island> in 2012, before <Veteran>. “As soon as I saw the picture of the island of the Battleship Island, the story of the escape came to mind. It was like a huge prison. I wanted to make this into a movie so more people could see it. Director Ryu Seung-wan said, “I thought that if I had a clear will, I could do it.” Director Ryu Seung-wan recreated a hot story by adding cinematic imagination to the motif of the hidden history of the warship island, where many Koreans were forced into labor. The tragic history of forced labor, which is painful for all Koreans, and the devastation and suffering of war that all human beings can relate to, conveys a heavy reverberation through a dramatic story and a sense of scale to see. The story of the Koreans who tried to escape from the warship island with a strong will to live creates a deeper emotion and catharsis. will be.

The reasons for being dragged were different, but the reason to live was the same.
Koreans on the Battleship Island,
If at least one survives, we win.

<Battleship Island> conveys a deep resonance through the process of surviving in their own way of ordinary people who are drawn to the Battleship Island for different reasons. Although the reasons for being dragged and the way they survived were different, the escape stories of the Koreans, who had the same desire to live in a hell called the Battleship Island, create a heartbreaking impression by adding the stories of each character.

'Lee Kang-ok', the band leader who came to the warship island with his daughter 'So-hee', deceived by the lie that he will give him a job, seeks survival by showing his band performances and extraordinary ability to adapt among forcedly conscripted Koreans. 'Lee Kang-ok' moves his heart with affectionate fatherly love by showing the image of an ordinary father who dedicates himself to making his only young daughter laugh for a while while trying to find a way to live in a situation that has changed overnight. And the innocence and dignified appearance of 'Sohee', a girl who is too young to understand what is happening on the battleship island, doubles the tragedy and pain of the battleship island. Unlike in the past when everyone was afraid of him, Chil-seong Choi, a fist that everyone knows by name in Gyeongseong, is humiliated and humiliated on the battleship island, but nevertheless, he has a strong presence as a human person who does not let go of his crude affection and compassion for his colleagues. radiate Meanwhile, 'Park Moo-young', a liberation soldier belonging to OSS, who helps Koreans escape after infiltrating the warship island to rescue key personnel of the liberation army, is a person with excellent operational ability and belief for mission performance and a person who leads the escape of all Koreans. This adds tension to the play. And 'late years', a woman who has a story and scars that cannot be described in words, but who has strengthened herself more than anyone else, shows a confident appearance that is not discouraged by anyone, and at the same time, embraces and caresses young Korean girls who are weaker than herself. tell the The stories of the various characters who wanted to live as human beings even for a single moment in the tragedy of the history of Warship Island, and who tried to survive, will leave an unforgettable impression for a long time.

Hwang Jung-min, So Ji-sub, Song Joong-ki, Lee Jung-hyun, Kim Su-an
Passionate love for the work and hard work
Complete <Battleship Island> with a fighting spirit that spared no body

The movie <Battleship Island> was directed by Ryoo Seung-wan, with the best actors representing the generation including Hwang Jung-min, So Ji-sub, Song Joong-ki, Lee Jung-hyun, and Kim Su-an. In order to perfectly digest the role of a forcedly conscripted Korean, the actors put forth their best efforts such as weight loss and half shaved, and through this, the vivid scenery of the warship island in 1945 was completed.

Hwang Jung-min, who worked with director Ryoo Seung-wan for the third time following <Unfair Trade> and <Veteran>, takes on the role of 'Lee Kang-ok', the band leader who came to the warship island with her daughter, leading the center of the play as a character with strong survivability and paternal love. Hwang Jung-min, who has built a character image by consistently practicing clarinet for the role of the band leader, and directly suggesting cigarettes and a mustache, leaves a deep impression with his human side, revealing strong paternal love at the decisive moment even after being friends with his daughter So-hee. . So Ji-sub, who plays the role of 'Choi Chil-seong', the best fist in Gyeongseong, causes big and small incidents on the battleship island, but exudes a heavy charisma as a character with a crude yet deep inside. In particular, the action scene unfolding in the bathroom completed the perfect action scene with the fighting spirit that spared no body even though it was impossible to wear protective equipment due to the space and costume settings. Song Joong-ki, who chose <Battleship Island> as his first screen comeback after being discharged from the military and his next film after 5 years, plays the role of 'Park Moo-young', who carries out his duties based on strong will and conviction, contrasting with the pure and delicate appearance of his previous work <A Werewolf Boy>. It shows a masculine and strong charm. Song Joong-ki's transformation into the OSS Liberation Army through action training such as shooting training and efforts to reduce body fat for characters who received special training, including deep thoughts about movies and characters, will overwhelm the screen with solid conviction and masculine beauty.
Here, Lee Jung-hyeon, who won the Best Actress Award at the Blue Dragon Film Awards in 2015 for Alice in Sincerity, gave strength to the film as a female character who does not lose her dignity despite all kinds of hardships under the Japanese colonial rule through the role of 'Last Years'. In particular, Lee Jung-hyun lost 36.5 kg for the role of 'late years', and showed an extraordinary fighting spirit by directly digesting the shooting scene of the escape action. Kim Soo-an, who received attention for <Train to Busan>, disassembled as Kang-ok's daughter, 'So-hee', digested both dance and singing for the band performance, and breathes life into the play with rich emotions and excellent acting skills. The heart-pounding performance completed with the hard work and extraordinary will of the top actors will become a viewing point of <Battleship Island> that cannot be missed.

“It was the greatest experience of my life.”
The escape sequence of Koreans completed with the 30th filming
80 actors who lived as Koreans on the Battleship Island, the hidden protagonists of the movie

The large-scale escape scene of Koreans, the highlight of the movie <Battleship Island>, is a scene in which the efforts and passion of director Ryu Seung-wan, actors, and production team are condensed. It took about a month and a half, and it was completed with a lot of effort to shoot a total of 30 episodes. Starting with the large-scale bombing scene before the full-scale escape, the escape scene, in which the earnestness and will of the Koreans for escape, exploded, was filmed beyond the limits in scale and action, reminiscent of the battlefield of Abigail Hwan. It is a scene filled with extraordinary effort and concentration of the actors and production team, from the process of realizing the dire action based on reality without missing every single one of the heightened emotional performances of the characters towards survival, and the process of matching the movement and action of a large number of people. Martial arts director Jung Doo-hong said, “It will be difficult to create action scenes that match the emotions of the actors within the next 10 years. It is so moving.” The escape action, which contains the passionate performances and fighting spirit of all the actors, from the main actors to minor roles to auxiliary actors, will be remembered as an unforgettable scene in <Battleship Island>.
On the other hand, director Ryoo Seung-wan and the production team fixedly cast about 80 acting majors and actors, rather than hiring minor actors who were forcibly conscripted on the Battleship Island from time to time as needed. Director Ryoo Seung-wan said, "I did an 'acting' for each of the minor actors. Therefore, even when shooting a mob scene, they show different behaviors and performances rather than the conventional appearance. They are all actors who acted in their own position.” During the six months of filming, while maintaining a half-shaved hair, he did not hesitate to take dangerous shots and lived as Koreans on the Battleship Island. He breathed life into the film as a hidden protagonist.

<Veteran> <Spy> <The Handmaiden> <Wailing>
shooting, lighting, art, martial arts, costumes, music
Korea's best production crew unites for <Battleship Island>

The top producers in Korea, who have been recognized for their best skills in name and reality, have gathered in one place for director Ryoo Seung-wan's new film <Battleship Island>. With cinematographer Lee Mo-gae, lighting director Lee Seong-hwan, art director Lee Ho-kyung, martial arts director Jeong Doo-hong, costume director Jo Sang-kyung, and music director Bang Jun-seok, <Battleship Island> is a film that can enhance the completeness of a dramatic story with the participation of talented staff. there was.

Cinematographer Lee Mo-gae, who has shown spectacular, intense and stylish filming in <The Great Lake> <I Saw the Devil> <The Brotherhood> and <The Good, the Bad, and the Strange>, worked with director Ryoo Seung-wan for the first time through <Battleship Island>. . Cinematographer Lee Mo-gae, who shared a long-take shoot different from Ryoo Seung-wan's previous works, and to create a video that the audience can experience as if they were real, decided to use a wide lens to capture numerous people. In addition, he completed vivid and impressive scenes through various camera movements. In addition, lighting director Lee Seong-hwan, who was in charge of <Cold> and <Daeho>, focused on utilizing the light of the torch and incandescent light bulb used at the time based on historical evidence, excluding artificial lighting. In addition, since we had to shoot outdoors for a long time, controlling the daylight was the key, so we focused on capturing a unified tone throughout the film by floating a silk cloth over 30 meters high in the sky. Art director Lee Hu-kyung, who has created realistic and original worlds such as <Tunnel> and <Wailing>, has made an unprecedented attempt to produce about 2/3 of the actual battleship island as a set through a thorough preliminary investigation and exploration of the battleship island. The warships, such as , residential areas and fortresses, perfectly reproduced each space within. In addition, with the participation of martial arts director Jeong Doo-hong, who has been working with director Ryoo Seung-wan for a long time, realistic action that conveys vivid pain and an escape scene on an all-time scale were completed. While reflecting the conditions of the time, the director tried to complete the costume with the stark contrast between the Japanese and Korean classes and the characteristics of the characters. Here, with the participation of music director Bang Jun-seok, who was in charge of the music for <The Apostle> and <The Thieves> and worked with director Ryu Seung-wan for <Veteran> and <Crying Fists>, the cinematic tension and dramatic development of the movie <Battleship Island> focused on In this way, from shooting, lighting, art, martial arts, costumes, and music, <Battleship Island>, which was completed with great care by the best production team in each field, will fill the screen with realistic sights, heavy emotion, and overwhelming scale. .

3 months of design work, 6 months of construction
66,000 sqm, the largest and most extra-large set production
Reproduce the warship island of 1945

As the battleship island was set during the Japanese colonial period, it was the biggest task for the production team of <Battleship Island> to reproduce the warship island at that time. To this end, art director Lee Hu-kyung, after a three-month design process and six months of construction, produced an unprecedentedly large set of 66,000 square meters on a 132,000-square-meter site in Chuncheon, Gangwon-do. Not only did I personally visit the warship island, but based on various materials, I tried to implement it as similar to the warship map at the time as much as possible, and in the case of the detailed space that is not left as a current material, the set of the warship map completed by adding the cinematic setting and concept is 2/ of the actual warship map. 3, the film's reality, spectacle, and completeness reach its peak. Hell Stairs, which have become the symbol of Warship Island, residential areas for Japanese and Koreans, the marina and school grounds where Koreans first arrive upon arriving on the island, and the bustling oilfields and the inside and outside of the coal mines where forced labor takes place, as well as Korean restaurants and Japanese staff clubs. Each space of the warship island was delicately embodied. Through the unprecedented scale and high-quality set of warship maps that have never been attempted before, the audience will experience the vivid feeling of being on a real warship island and the life of the Koreans there in a more realistic way.

# The Stairway to Hell on the Battleship Island and the Japanese-Chosun Residential Area
The set of the warship island preserves the feeling of an artificial island surrounded by concrete, and at the same time captures the overcrowded structure of the actual warship island, which was built on top of each other in a vertical form because it had to accommodate a large number of people in a limited space. In the case of a modern apartment building centered on the Hell Stairs, which is a representative space of such a warship island, the upper floors were set for Japanese dwellings and the basement floors for Koreans, so that the space alone expressed the stark difference between the Japanese and Korean classes. At that time, the basement floor where Koreans lived was a space reminiscent of a prison, as it not only stagnated when the seawater crossed the outer wall of the warship, and did not even get sunlight.

# Warhammer Island’s authorship streets and castles
At that time, the writing streets and ryokan of Gunhamdo, which was bustling with the coal mining business at the time, were embodied in detail from one small detail to the point that it was reminiscent of an actual Japanese entertainment district. Located at the entrance to the residential area of Warship Island, it is a space equipped with everything necessary for daily life such as a post office, a bar, a pharmacy, and a boutique, as well as leisure facilities that only Japanese can enjoy, such as a theater called Showakan, which existed in real life. All of these were formally open to Koreans, but in reality they could not be used for various reasons. On the other hand, the Yugwa, to which women and girls of Joseon face, is drawn as a backward and cramped space that contrasts with their splendidly decorated appearances.

# Outside the coal mine area of Warship Island
The coal mine, which is the most important space in the movie <Battleship Island>, was produced by dividing the exterior and interior sets. In the case of the coal mine area, its shape does not remain at present, so it is a space completed by adding a cinematic setting based on as many materials as possible. The precarious slope of the concrete wall surrounding the coal mine area is the route to and from work for Koreans, and the poor environment of the Koreans can be read just by looking at the narrow and dizzying path. In addition, the outside of the coal mine, where a huge high-rise conveyor belt that transports coal to the opposite side is located overbearingly, is a space that is the main stage for the escape of Koreans in the second half of the drama, so a lot of effort was put into pre-production. In particular, the high-rise conveyor belt was able to be completed after several months of working with 50-60 people and heavy equipment to build a steel structure in order to reproduce it as it was on the actual warship island.

# Inside the coal mine on the battleship island, ant den and makjang
The interior of the coal mine, where Koreans were forcibly conscripted for more than 12 hours, including the narrow tunnels, ant dens and makjangs, was made in a separate indoor set. The anthill, where coal can only be mined by crawling through a narrow passage, is a place where small teenage Korean boys were mobilized, and it is a space that symbolically shows the tragic history of Warship Island. The ant burrow made as a set was made so that real actors could also enter and perform the coal mining operation. On the other hand, the end of the tunnel located at a depth of 1,000 meters under the sea is the most dangerous space where even workers can be submerged if buried.

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