Silenced (The Crucible)
|Korean Film (2011)||Director: Hwang Dong-Hyuk
|Genre: Drama/Crime/Based On True Story||My Score: 8/10 ★★★★☆|
|Summary: An art teacher just got a new job at a school for deaf children. Very soon after starting this job, he discovers a terrible secret; three students are being sexually abused.
Not being able to stand by and do nothing, he helps them take it to court.
|Cast: Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-Mi, Kim Hyun-Soo, Jung In-Seo, and Baek Seung-Hwan
Review: Actor Gong Yoo helped get this movie going after he read the online novel form, Dogani, in the military. It’s based on a true horrific event that happened between 2000 and 2005. The novel was published in 2009.
I was kind of afraid to do a review on this movie since it’s so dark and such a serious topic. I’ll just give my impressions anyway. The first thing I noticed was that it’s a whole two hours long. I was worried I’d have to watch children suffering for that long, but, while there are quite a bit of horrible scenes, a lot of the movie is centered at court and things. (Kind of like Itaewon Homicide if you’ve watched that.)
There are some brief cute/charming moments in the first half hour. Probably to set up the character relationships and get the viewers caring about them. After that, it’s mostly just drama.
The children’s acting was really good. It felt real and made me want to cry. There were some really heartbreaking circumstances and scenes. I think the director was really effective in making me feel for the kids by having them tell about what happened to them, switching over to showing what happened, and then going back to their reaction to just remembering it. There was no doubt at how traumatized they were.
I’m surprised how real some of the scenes felt. I remember thinking I’d never want to be an actor for one of the villains in this film!
The depth of corruption and injustice was really disgusting and the movie will probably make you feel outraged by the end. They had a simple “One Year Later” thing to try and calm us down a little bit, but since it was based on real events, I think they wanted us to leave feeling angry and it’s a good thing. Because of the feeling people had after watching this movie, Korea was moved to revise the laws concerning sexual abuse. Here is a list of some of the problems the movie addressed.
Another plus is that the school the story is based on was shut down about two months after the film was released.
The movie ended with the quote, “We should not fight to change the world, but to stop it from changing us.”
It’s a nice thought, and by the way things ended I can see why they chose it, but I just can’t agree with it. Why not strive for both? If people didn’t try to change anything in the world, then there’d still be slavery and it would still be legal for women to be beaten by their husbands. Ultimately, the movie did “change the world” by getting better laws in place.
Warning: Disturbing abusive scenarios involving children (violence/rape/abuse).
If this subject is a trigger for you, it’s best to avoid it since it can get rather graphic.