AKA: Do-ga-ni; The Crucible
Directed by: Hwang Dong-hyuk
Starring: Gong Yoo (Kang In-ho), Jung Yu-mi (Seo Yoo-jin), Jang Gwang (Twins), Kim Min-sang (Park), Baek Seung-hwan (Min-su), Kim Hyun-soo (Yeon-doo), Jung In-seo (Yoo-ri)
Country: South Korea; Effed Up Asian Films
Language: Korean, Korean Sign Language (English subtitles); Effed Up Korean Movies
Genres: Based on a True Story, Abuse, Old-Young, Courtroom, Childhood
Plot – Spoilers:
The new art teacher at a Korean school for the deaf shockingly finds out that the glum faces of most of the kids, is but a meagre reflection of the horrible abuse they’ve been enduring from the staff for years. Though he’s mostly a passive person, with the help of an activist, he tries to do something about it.
Silenced is kind of similar to the Danish film Der Kommer En Dag. A real story, decades of abuse and a teacher trying to help.
The Real case:
Gwangju Inhwa School for the Deaf had a history of abuse from the sixties for five long decades, before a teacher finally managed to get a court case to happen in 2005. At least two kids were allegedly even murdered as part of the abuse in the ’60s. Due to the statutes of limitation expiring, many of the cases brought forward by the few victims that were willing to testify, were thrown out. The trials were a mess, as were the judgements. The teacher lost his job, the victims were kicked out, and some of the accused staff reinstated. Wider coverage was only given to the case after the book (The Crucible) and its film came out. Some laws were also eventually changed as part of the outcry.