Thursday, February 12, 2009

Barging in

The Joongang Ilbo has an article about the documentary "Old Partner", or '워낭소리':
“Old Partner,” a low-budget documentary about the 30-year friendship between a farming couple in their 80s and a loyal cow, attracted 305,000 viewers from Jan. 15 to Feb. 10, a record in Korea for an independent film. The movie was originally screened in just seven cinemas on its release date. But word spread quickly among film lovers, and it is now showing in over 100 movie theaters nationwide.
Actually, this Korea Times article has more information on the movie and how it was made; The Joongang article is about how the movie's success has affected the lives of the couple seen in the film:
Despite the unexpected popularity of the movie, the elderly couple have complained to the movie crew that their lives have been turned upside down. They say they are inundated with calls and requests from the media and ordinary viewers who want to meet and talk. [...]

Some television network producers have already visited and filmed the couple’s village without advance permission. Some even went inside their house although the couple strongly resisted, according to a producer of the movie. The two live in a small hilly village of 40 in Bonghwa county, North Gyeongsang Province.
That reporters "went inside their house although the couple strongly resisted" reminds of a story Oranckay told about the actions of a rather unscrupulous reporter in the media blitz that followed Kim Sun-il's beheading in Iraq in June of 2004 (from the wayback machine - scroll down to July 5, 2004)
Just heard from a very reliable source that the above picture of Kim Seon Il, used repeatedly in the media and at street protests, was stolen from his family's home by a reporter when journalists stormed the living room to take pictures like this. It has been used repeatedly for things like this and later things like this.

I have no way to confirm if the story is true or not, but at the very least, it is believed to be true by many journalists covering the whole situation, particularly from Busan where his family resides.

The reporter, btw, is said to work for a newspaper with national circulation, one that also publishes a daily in English. Exclude the Joongang and figure it out yourself.
[I removed a few dead links; here are photos taken at his family's home at the time: 1 2 3]

Unprofessionalism by many reporters has been looked at before (here and here, for example), but stealing photos from a grieving family and pushing into an elderly couple's house really do take the cake!

Anyways, the movie can be seen at Indiespace (at the Joongang Theatre in Myeongdong). A map is here, and the schedule is here. Both articles say that the movie is being shown with English subtitles.

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