Movie Monday: Tae Guk Gi (2004)

Starring: Jang Dong Gun (All about Eve, Model, Typhoon, etc.), Won Bin (Autumn Fairy Tale, The Man from Nowhere, Friends, etc.), Lee Eun Joo (The Phoenix, Lovers’ Concerto, etc.)

Rating: R

Twinkies: 4 out of 5

Running Time: 140 minutes

Synopsis: This story chronicles the lives of two brothers torn apart by the Korean War and their determination to find each other despite incredible odds. As each of them fight for their country and their freedom, their bond as brothers is tested, refined, and memorialized in this moving tale of a country divided by political ideology. 

Musings: I know that this may be a heavy movie to watch at the beginning of the work week, but in the United States, today is a national holiday: Memorial Day. This is the day that the entire country rests from work and school to remember those brave men and women who fought for this country in order to preserve our way of life. 

With each passing year, I grow to appreciate the sacrifices of our military more and more and thought that I would dedicate this week’s “Movie Monday” selection in honor of the service men and women everywhere, but especially in the States. So if you are part of the military or are part of a military family, I hope you know that your sacrifices are appreciated by this twinkie. May God keep you all safe and well as you serve your country.

Also, this movie provides a glimpse of how traumatic the Korean War was and is for the people of Korea. The ramifications of the 38th parallel continue to haunt countless families in Korea–both in the North and in the South–and is an issue explored in our beloved The King 2 Hearts. On a personal note, my paternal grandmother (age 93), the youngest in her family, never again saw her six siblings after that 38th parallel went into effect. I sometimes wonder how much she must miss them–never to grow old together, visit during holidays, dote on their children, attend weddings and funerals, etc. To her knowledge, she is the last of her siblings still alive; she never got the opportunity to say her goodbyes to her older siblings or even know how to get in touch with them or their children–her nieces and nephews.

But despite all this, the one thing she tells me whenever the topic of the Korean War comes up is that she will be forever grateful to those faceless American soldiers who risked their lives to help fight for Korea’s freedom. And for me, her words of gratitude to the many soldiers who fought during the Korean War, for a people they did not know, echo within my heart. On Memorial Day each year, I remember these soldiers and wonder what my life would have been like had they not come to Korea’s aid. Yes, I know that the achievements of South Korea are great for a country ravaged by war in the 1950s, but these achievements would have been impossible without the initial fight for freedom from General MacArthur and his men.

So if you get the chance to watch this movie, I hope it will provide you with a small glimpse of the conflict that still resonates between South Korea and North Korea as well as remind you to treasure your family and friends. If nothing else, you’ll experience a beautifully crafted piece of cinematography that does the subject proud.

On this note, I wish you all a happy Monday and a meaningful Memorial Day!

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Snoopy's Twinkie

Created Musings back in 2010 when viewers were frantically searching for SungKyunKwan Scandal recaps. She currently blogs and comments from the US. You can also find her on FB (@SnoopysTwinkie), twitter (@twinkiedramas), and YouTube (Twinkiedramas).

8 thoughts on “Movie Monday: Tae Guk Gi (2004)”

  1. Ahh it’s summer so not a lot of people aren’t commenting 🙁 I feel bad
    Great recommendation though! My South Korean friend recommended this to me when we were talking about movies ^^ I wonder where I can find it…

    1. No need to feel bad, Wol. LOL
      Anyhow, I usually check youtube, then mysoju.com, and as a last resort, dramastyle.com.
      Happy Memorial Day! No school! 😉

  2. Okay….just watched this on YouTube. And I would just like to say—WAAAAAHHHH!!! *cries a river* it was so beautiful! So touching! So sad!! TT^TT I was watching it on the shared computer, so I was fighting with myself to not cry but ended up covering my head with a blanket to hide my face. Now my nose is all stuffed -.- Miserable but enlightened. Great Movie Monday! A beautiful way to end my night with a whole bunch of new thoughts swirling in my head, I love this feeling ^^

  3. Personally I just don’t fancy any movie or drama that has to do with war, so if there are scenes like they are in battle, I choose to watch something else. Don’t know why I’m like that
    But I love those sageuks with their battle scenes esp God of War that I’m following now, hehe weird huh

    Twinkie, I finally watched The Classic you reccomended and I liked it, actually prefer the parents love story, there’s more to it than the children. In fact I felt the children’s story to rushed to believe they could fall for each other.

    Am downloading Seducing Mr Perfect as I’m typing, haha hope its good. Also watched The Recipe – misleading title though
    Anyway hope you had a good Monday:)

    1. Thanks! I had a good Monday, but I was not as productive as I had hoped. :p
      In any case, I’m glad you enjoyed The Classic. 🙂

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