korean sitemap email
 
 
 
1. Sweet Dream
2. Fisherman's Fire
3. Homeless Angel
4. Viva Freedom!
5. A Public Prosecutor...
6. A Hometown in Heart
7. The Hand of Destiny
8. The Widow
9. Piagol
10. Yangsan Province
11. Hyperbolae of Youth
12. Madame Freedom
13. The Wedding Day
14. The Money
15. The Flower in Hell
16. The Bell Tower
17. Nameless Stars
18. A Romantic Papa
19. Mr. Park
20. The Housemaid
21. Seong Chun-hyang
22. A Coachman
23. Aimless Bullet
24. A Petty Middle Man...
25. Mother and a Guest
26. The Sea Knows
27. Under the Sky of...
28. A Happy Business...
29. Goryeojang
30. Marines Are Gone
31. Kim's Daughters
32. Kinship
33. The Barefooted...
34. The Body Confes...
35. The Devil's Stairway
36. Black Hair
37. The Empty Dream
38. The Seashore Village
39. The DMZ
40. Early Rain
41. A Water Mill
42. Flame in the Valley
43. Homebound
44. Mist
45. The General's Must...
46. Holiday
47. Love Me Once Again
48. An Old Potter
49. Thousand Years...
50. Woman of Fire
51. The Pollen of Flowers
52. Heavenly Homecom...
53. Yeong-Ja's Heydays
54. A Road to Sampo
55. The March of Fools
56. Yalkae, A Joker In...
57. Winter Woman
58. I-eoh Island
59. The Shower
60. Rainy Days
61. Good Windy Day
62. Mismatched Nose
63. The Last Witness
64. The Hut
65. Mandara
66. The Ball Shot by a...
67. People of kkobang...
68. Village of Haze
69. Declaration of Idiot
70. Spinning the Tales...
71. Whale Hunting
72. The Oldest Son
73. Scorching Sun
74. Deep Blue Night
75. Gilsottem
76. Ticket
77. Surrogate Mother
78. A Wanderer Never...
79. The Age of Success
80. Chil-su and Man-su
81. Gagman
82. Aje Aje Bara Aje
83. What is the Reason...
84. A Short Love Affair
85. The Night before...
86. North Korean Part...
87. Black Republic
88. My Bride My Love
89. The Road to Race...
90. Our Twisted Hero
91. White Badge
92. The Marriage Life
93. First Love
94. Sopyonje
95. To the Starry Island
96. A Hot Roof
97. A Single Spark
98. A Petal
99. The Day a Pig Fell...
100. Festival
Before  |  List  |  Next
Piagol (Pi-agol) (1955)

Director : Lee Kang-Cheon
Production Company : Hak Ho Production
Date of Theatrical Release : 1955-09-23
Running Time : 110 min.
Opening Theater : Kukdo Theater
Genre : Anti-Communism

Staff :
Screenplay(Adaptation) : Kim Jong-Hwan
Producer : Kim Byeong-ki
Executive Producer : Kim Byeong-ki
Director of PhotoGraphy : Lee Kang-Cheon
Music : Kwak Keun
Art Director : Jeong Hyoi-Gap
Editor : Lee Kang-Cheon
Sound/Recording : Lee Kyeong-Sun

Cast(Actor/Actress) :
Kim Jin-Kyu, No Kyeong-Hee, Lee Ye-Chun, Heo Jang-Kang

Synopsis

One of the few partisan units left in Mt. Jiri after the signing of the Armistice, the unit led by a captain nicknamed "Agari" (meaning "mouth" in Korean) commits all manner of atrocities. Cheol-su(Kim Jin-kyu), who has started to grow disillusioned with the communist ideology, is troubled by the romantic feelings professed by an ideologically devout and cool-headed female comrade named Ae-ran (Lee Ye-chun). One day, another female partisan soldier named So-ju, who had been transferred to another unit, finds her way back to Piagol with a bullet wound in her shoulder. Man-su (Heo Jang-kang) rapes the injured So-ju, who dies under his assault. In order to cover up his crime, he murders his fellow soldiers, frames Dal-su for the rape, and kills him. Once the extermination of guerillas in Mt. Jiri begins, all the partisan soldiers face imminent death. Disgusted by partisan life, Ae-ran and Cheol-su discuss defection, but are discovered in the act by Agari. Cheol-su and Agari get into a fight, and Cheol-su is killed. In the end, Ae-ran kills Agari and descends the mountain alone.

Notes

"The first movie to be banned for violating the Anti-Communist Act, due to its humane portrayal of North Korean partisan soldiers."
Piagol, which served as the cinematic model for anti-communist humanism, depicts each of its characters, either in main or supporting roles, with vital detail. What makes Piagol at once unique and problematic as an anti-communist film is the fact that no South Korean soldier or police officer ever makes an appearance; it only features North Korean partisan soldiers. Unlike the guerilla fighters in newspapers and documentary films, who were portrayed as anonymous villains and cold-blooded killers, Piagolendowed partisan soldiers with distinctive personalities, and each unique character encounters human conflicts caused by his or her desires. The media and the government banned the film from being screened on the charge of violating the Anti-Communist Act, censuring its excessively "realistic" and human depiction of North Korean soldiers. (Critic Lee Young-il, author of The History of Korean Cinema [Hanguk yeonghwa jeonsa], cited this very fact as his basis for dubbing this film as an example of realistic anti-communist humanism and praising its artistic achievement.) Because the audience at the time held only vague ideas about the difference between dramatic films and documentary filmsi.e. between fiction and factand because anti-communism was deemed more than a simple ideology but a matter of survival, Piagol's realistic depictions might well have been considered threatening.
Indeed, one of the most prominent characters in the film, partisan leader Agari (Lee Ye-chun), is a good case in point. Although he is portrayed as a brutal villain throughout, a nightmare sequence conveyed through an intricate montage sequence endows him with internal conflict and feelings of guilt regarding his own cruelty and violence. Further, the expression of his obsessive devotion to ideology, which he is unable to abandon even at the end, elicits a measure of sympathy from the audience. Most of all, the character of Ae-ran (No Kyeong-hee), a capable and decisive female leader who shows rigorous dedication to the communist cause until the latter half of the movie, is represented in a considerably attractive light. Honest about her feelings and desires, and more capable than anyone else, Ae-ran exemplifies the image of an active woman even from our contemporary perspective.

Afterword:

- Piagol's initial screening license was revoked because of an anti-communist controversy, but the film received permission to re-screen thereafter.
- As shooting took place in Mt. Jiri soon after the Armistice was signed, when remnants of partisan bands were still hiding out on the mountain, the staff and cast testified to having actually felt a sense of danger during filming.

Director Bio: Lee Kang-cheon (1920-1993)

He worked as an artist after graduating from Tokyo Art School and began his involvement with movies directing art in director Lee Man-heung's 1948 film, An Interrupted Route (Kkeunh-eojin hanglo). He made his directorial debut with Arirang(Alilang) (1954) with the proposal of a friend who was the owner of Jeonju Cultural Theatre. His most famous work is Piagol (Pi-agol) (1955), a movie about North Korean guerillas remaining in Mountain Jiri after the Korean War. The film was banned from being shown because it was in violation of the anticommunist laws of the time, and the final scene had to be edited. His other works include An Idiot Adada (Baegchi Adada) (1956), A Beautiful Wicked Woman(Aleumda-un agnyeo) (1958), A Wayfarer (Nageune) (1961), Leaving the Fatherland (Dugo-on Sanha) (1962), Cool and Cold (Mujeong) (1962), I Have Been Cheated (Naneun Sogatda) (1964), The Dead and the Alive(Jugeun Jawa San Ja) (1966), The Sword of a Shooting Star (Yuseong-ui Geom) (1968) and he directed close to 30 works in all.