The film “Ode to my Father” was about the main character Yoon Duk Soo and what he experienced in his life. The movie starts with Yoon Duk Soo as a grandpa and he remembers an event that happen during the Korean War. His family was leaving their home and running away from the Chinese (His home was located in the North). He was made responsible for holding his sisters hand. They are running and he loses his hold his father scolds him. They want to get on an American ship and there are a lot of Koreans waiting to get on. His family is going up to the ship from the side both of his parents have a child and Yoon Duk Soo has his little sister on his back. When he is going up somebody grabs her trying to go up and she falls. His father decides to go look for her and he tells Duk Soo he is now the head the family.
This scene is how everything began in his life of working to help make money for his family. His family moves to Busan to stay with his father’s sister. This movie shows discrimination against darker skin Koreans because light skin Koreans assumed they are migrant workers who do not understand the language. Since he is responsible as Head of the Family he goes to West Germany to work in the mine to make money to send back home. He marries has a child, buys his aunt’s store when she dies, joins the Vietnam War to send more money home and he returns to South Korea hurt. Everything he does is to help his family because he is head of the family. At the end of the movie they show how families were trying to have reunions between the North and South. He is trying to look for his father and younger sister. I will leave it at that.
The type of history that I teach and will be teaching is more about the past than it is about more modern history. But as I was watching the movie the first 20 minutes or so can be shown to students to represent how families (even babies and old people) had to leave their homes against invasion of their land. In this case China invaded Korea to help North Korea defeat the South and the United States. But China can represent any colonizer or anybody fighting a war to win land. This can connect students to what happens during War time because they are seeing human beings running trying to find a means to escape what is coming. Discrimination is also shown in the film for a bit and that can always been shown to students. Questions can be asked before, during and after the scene is shown. Like “What do you predict is going to happen in this scene?” Questions to ask: “Why do people have such a negative view of migrant workers or immigrants?” “Why do you think discrimination happens based on the scene?” “Are you surprised somebody stepped in to defend the people being discriminated against? “Do you find any similarities about what you watched to what you see in our society?”