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East Asia Since 1800 Film Review

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Dennis Vovchenko
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East Asia Since 1800 Film Review

The Korean 1936 Berlin Olympics champion mentioned in Jennifer Jung Kim’s lecture reminded me of a recent S. Korean film titled “My Way” (2012) about two runners – one Japanese and one Korean who had both trained to compete for Japan. They were then drafted into the Japanese army to invade Mongolia in 1939 where they were captured by the Soviets. To survive captivity, they volunteered into the Red Army when Nazi Germany invaded Russia in 1941 only to defect to the Nazis and to be fighting the Allies landing in Normandy. The description says that it is based on a true story https://www.amazon.com/My-Way-Jang-Dong-Gun/dp/B007S0DCUU

Some battle scenes are not very convincing but there is a lot of drama and action. Many limitations aside, it has some useful moments to discuss with the students. The short pre-1939 background sequence shows not just tensions and resistance to Japanese occupation of Korea but also coexistence and even friendship on a personal level.