… a little more about the film and song.^^
In short, “26 Years” went to crowdfunding for its production primarily because of its controversial (sensitive is probably a more apt description) take on the Gwangjun massacre’s aftermath.
After being passed by major studios, film producer Choi Yong-bae went online to get the capitals necessary for his movie, getting independent greenlight from donations and investors.
In less than three months, more than 12,000 people gave nearly 450 million won ($404,000) in exchange for movie tickets and small gifts, helping the film finally get off the ground. The donations continue to grow by word of mouth and social media.
Even though donations are only a small portion of the 4.6 billion won ($4.1 million) budget for the movie, the crowdfunding project created enough buzz to lure some deep-pocketed individuals and nearly 90 percent of the entire budget has been secured. The movie is set to be released at the end of November, just a few weeks before South Korea’s presidential election.
– Youkyung Lee @ Huffington Post
Whereas many past films about the Gwangjun event focused on exploring the suffering of victims, this film deals with the revenge aspect of survivors and remaining family members. Layering on top are the movie’s release date and current political climate, few weeks ahead of the South Korea’s presidential election involving GNP candidate Park Geun-hye , daughter of ex-president Park Chung-hee, the movie stands to risk as much as it possibly will gain.
In real life, Chun was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court for mutiny, treason charges over the coup and the Gwangju crackdown. After receiving a presidential pardon in 1997, the 81-year-old lives in a heavily guarded house in northwestern Seoul.
Chun’s refusal to return hundreds of millions of dollars allegedly collected from slush funds and news reports about his extravagant golf trips stir anger among many South Koreans. Whether taxpayer money should be used to protect Chun’s residence is a subject of heated debate and also a reminder that South Koreans have not fully come to terms with Gwangju.
Choi said the original cartoon struck a chord with those South Koreans who believe that Chun showed no sign of repentance.
“The cartoon criticizes the current society. Because South Korea did not fully punish those responsible for the massacre, victims have no choice but to take revenge into their hands,” Choi said.
Some “26 Years” donors said they felt indebted to Gwangju citizens who risked their lives for democracy.
“Gwangju citizens made the biggest contributions but they have not won recognition,” said South Korean Song In-keun who lives in Cambridge, Mass. “I made a donation believing that it was a way of paying back my debt to Gwangju.”
– Youkyung Lee @ Huffington Post
The same problem was seen with the making of the film’s soundtrack. In the end, I think they chose the perfect song and sang it beautifully. The lyrics are amazing.
Another perspective on Flower from My Dear Korea who also translated and subbed the videos/song.
[…] The song/video features South Korean musicians and actors such as Aktoong, Bae Subin, Bye Bye Sea, Horan, Im Seulong, Jin Goo, Jung Jichan, Kim Hyungjoong, Kim Jongseo, The Koxx, Lee Gyuho, Lee Hyunseok, Lee Seokhoon, Lee Seunghwan, Peter Pan Complex, Pia, Romantic Punch, Rose Motel, Soran, Taru, Trans Fixion, Yellow Monsters, Ynot, Yoon Dohyun, Yoon Sang, Yozoh, Zitten, and the cartoonist Kangfull.
Lee Seunghwan revealed on TvN’s “Taxi,” aired on November 8, 2012, that it was unusually hard to call his artist/musician friends together to collaborate on the song ’cause the movie deals with sensitive topics. Many of his musical colleagues who readily accepted his offers to collaborate at other times chickened out and said no this time.
The song “Flower” was originally released March 12, 2003, along with its music video, just 8 days before the Iraq War (3/20/2003~12/18/2011) broke out. South Koreans were so amazed when they first watched the video as the purpose of the video was to convey the anti-war message. In fact, they posted messages such as these: “Was this video made, predicting the war in Iraq?” or “Let’s send this video to CNN so that people around the world can watch it too.” Lee Seunghwan said he wanted to tell the world that no war is justifiable in any case. The video also conveyed the message of hope as it showed a flower blooming in the ruins of war at the end of it.
The music video featured the actress Park Shinhye (“You’re Beautiful”) at age 13. During the time she was signed to Lee Seunghwan’s Dream Factory (DF) (2003~2009), she was trained to be DF’s BoA but it’s been known that despite her outstanding dancing talent, her singing abilities, especially when expressing her emotions while singing, held her back. So she was advised to take some acting lessons and ironically took up acting in the end. Yes, it’s true when we say no one knows what tomorrow may bring.
Various Artists – Flower MV (Eng Sub)
Lee Seunghwan – Flower MV (Eng Sub)
Credit: dearkorea You Tube