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`Kidnapping DJ`, Secret Maneuvers of Korea-Japan Agents

Posted April. 30, 2002 09:10,   


This year’s opening movie of Jeonju Film Festival, `KT`, is director Sakamoto Junji’s Korea-Japan joint production, based on `Kim Dae-Jung kidnapping incident` that actually happened in Tokyo, Japan, in 1973. The original work is Nakazono Eisuke’s novel `Kidnapping`, which is also based on the same incident.

However, as even the introduction list shows `Kim Dae-Jung’s role – Choi Il-Hwa` the 4th, the movie’s main character is not Kim Dae-Jung. Sakamoto did not want the movie to be a documentary, so he developed the story in the assaulter’s view.

Japan-residing Korean embassy’s envoy Kim Jung-Kwon (Kim Byung-Se) receives an order from higher authority, and bids Korea Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) agent Kim Cha-Woon (Kim Kap-Su) to promote `KT Project`, which is to assassinate Kim Dae-Jung who is staying in Japan. Major Tomita (Sato Koichi), who is dreaming of Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF)’s resurrection, receives an order from president Park Jung-Hee and the upper authority, who is a Japanese military academy colleague, and becomes involved in the kidnapping, helping the KCIA.

Here, stories of a Korean university student who secretly communicates with a North Korean agent, Tomita who falls in love with her, 2nd-generation Korean bodyguard of Kim who suffers from identity crisis, and a reporter who manages to have an exclusive interview with Kim are all mixed as well.

Although the movie used various characters to arouse tension, however, the movie is quite dry. `Kim Dae-Jung kidnapping incident` was a significant event to the victim himself and to the Korean political history, but at least for the Korean viewers, `KT` shows how difficult it is to produce a movie about something people already know (or something they think they know).

The fact that `KT` is a final competitor at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival creates a distance between the movie and the audience. The title `KT` is an abbreviation of the project name `Killing the Target`. Release Date: May 3. Above 15.

Sue-Jean Kang sjkang@donga.com