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Train to Busan

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Marcos Rico
Topic replies: 87
Topic Posts: 10
Train to Busan

I enjoyed this Zombie movie, and would be unable to show the complete movie to my students. There are about 11 minutes of the movie that I would like to show to my students. Most people when we think of East Asia, think of the images that Hollywood has given us farming communities, martial arts, etc. This movie shows us glimpses into the life of a fragmented family living in Seoul, South Korea (from their own point of view). The movie shows that we might have similar life experiences, even though we live in different countries.

Train to Busan (after skipping the first 3:40 minutes due to the deer being run over scene). Those first 3:40 minutes could be used with High School students, to show the importance of not using your phone while driving.

I would start showing the movie to my 4th grade students at 3:41 minutes, right after the title. It shows a workaholic father busy at work, he even eats lunch at his desk. The father Seok-Woo, is so busy at work that is not even sure what to get his own daughter Su-an for her birthday. The next scene shows him having a discussion over the phone with his estranged wife, about Su-an. For her birthday, Su-an wants to visit her mother in who lives in Busan. Seok-Woo gives his daughter a brand-new Wii for her birthday, he wonders why she is not happy about her gift, only to realize that she already has the exact same videogaming system (he bought it for Children's Day earlier in the year). Embarrassed he finally agrees to take Su-an to visit her mom at Busan for her birthday. We find out that Seok-Woo's mom is the one taking care of Su-an while he is busy at work. He even missed Su-an's recital, but Grandma recorded it for Seok-Woo. Later, it shows Seok-Woo and Su-an as they drive in his shiny Audi through Seoul in their way to the train station. At the modern train station, we see citizens from all walks of life getting ready to start their morning commute, boarding a high-speed train. I would stop showing the movie at around 15:30 minutes (Before the Zombie action begins).


Heidi Kwalk
Topic replies: 30
Topic Posts: 2
Train to Busan

Marcos, I too have watched this movie on Netflix. I thought it was very much a westernized version of a horror movie or as Koreans might call it in Korean, a "ghost story."  And for those who did not watch the movie, I do not mean "westernized" movie as in cowboys and Indians. What I mean by "westernized" version of a scary story is that the idea of zombies shown in the movie is more a western culture. There were a lot of horror movie cliches, probably purposefully done. Their intended message of the movie is clear though. Koreans like many other Asian culture value family unity and  respect for older generation. In this modern Korean society, the long standing traditional Korean values are fading as modern life style with modern technology push aside the traditional values of family unity. Koreans also traditionally respect nature. The film highlights the environmental damages in current affairs; this is done subtly by showing the newsfeed on the internet that the main character looks at in his office in the scene where he's eating his lunch at his desk.  Perhaps this "westernized" version was intentional by the film makers to emphasize the western/modern culture pushing aside the traditional values. For classroom purposes, students can compare and contrast the modern lifestyle between Korean and America: Korea is also a modern country. What is same and different about modern life in Korea and modern life in America.