The Tae Baek Mountains|
Director : Im Kwon-taek
Starring : Ahn Seong-ki, Kim Myeong-kon, Kim Gap-su, Shin Hyeon-jun, Oh Jeong-hae
Location Sites : Jangseong-gun, Jeollanam Province
This movie deals with history that resulted in the division of Korea and specifically, the Yeosu Incident, a large-scale insurrection in South Korea that was quelled before the Korean War. The film deals with the period immediately after Liberation in 1945 to the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. It was adapted from Jo Jeongrae's popular epic novel of the same title. The film tries to trace the source of the ideological conflict through the characters who are divided into vicious right-wing and left-wing factions within the same village. However, for director Im Gwontaek, the film is not just about ideological conflict and political power, but about how these factors affect the lives of the three main characters.
Such an interest in individuals is a common characteristic of Im's movies. The Yeosu Incident broke out in October 1948, when the conflict between the right and left deepened. After the leftists under the leadership of Yeom Sangjin take over Beolgyo and liquidate the rightists, the insurgency is defeated and they retreat to Mountain Jogae. The rightists, including the police, return, brutally investigating the people and the families involved with the leftists. The Inspector General of the Daedong Youth Organization, Yeom Sanggu, leads the investigation with vicious hatred toward his own brother, Yeom Sangjin. Meanwhile, the leftist Jeong Haseop sneaks into the shaman Sohwa's house. She used to go on errands for him and at last, they fall in love with each other, not thinking of their situation. A teacher at Suncheon Middle School, the nationalist Kim Beomu, criticizes both sides, but is considered a Communist and persecuted. The head of the Punitive Force Sim Jaemo and Kim Beomu administer a reasonable and moderate policy toward Yeom Sangjin and his group, who have taken over Yureo as a liberated village. However, the landowners oppose them. Finally, Sim Jaemo succeeds in retaking Yureo but is driven out to another village. Kim Beomu has a foreboding of war, witnessing the heartbreaking scenes where innocent people become the victims of rabid ideology. A partisan of Yeom Sangjin hears news that war has broken out in the middle of harsh hunger and desperation caused by the Winter Great Mopping up Operation during the winter of 1949.
Location of Shooting
Though the background of the novel <Tae Baek Mountains> is Mount Jiri and Beolgyo, Jeollanam Province, the movie was shot at Jangseong and Boseong in Jeollanam Province, Hangyeryeong and Pillye, including a movie set (80 houses) in Byeokjae, Gyeonggi Province. Geumgok-maeul in Jeollanam Province Jangseong-gun Bugil-myeon is the shooting location of the retreat scene of the partisans. It is situated within 20 minutes from Jangseong-gun toward Gochang and leads to the forest resort of Mount Chungnyeong, making the natural village even more fantastic. In addition, movies such as <The Harmonium in My Memory> (Naema-eum-ui punggeum), <Scent of Love> (Chimhyang), <Memories of Murder> (Salin-ui Chueok) were also shot here. Director Im Gwontaek from Jangseong admires the village as "the most beautiful town from sunrise to sunset." The sun shines evenly on the town for all the houses in town face the east, which makes the town the most suitable place to shoot a film.
Geumgok-maeul is situated 200m above sea level, to the east of Mount Chungryeong. It can't be seen from outside for it is surrounded by the mountain. The north and west side of this town adjoin Gochang-gun at the ridge of Soljae-Ongnyeobong-Moutain Munsu. The exact time when the village originated is not known. But many people have lived here because there was a lot of Jiso of which Korean paper was made until the 1960s. The 30 young men in the village are said to have been shot to death by the Korean army during the Korean War. The number of dwellers has decreased sharply due to rural exodus and there now only live 25 families. There are many stories about the origin of the name of the town, Geumgok (Silk Village). The first one is that the old name of this town Geomeungol has changed into Geumgol, Geumgok. The second one is that the feature of the mountain at the rear of the town looks like the character, 'Geum.' The most plausible story is that the entire village is so beautiful like silk that it has been called Geumgok. It still maintains farm scenery that remains unchanged from the 1950s and 1960s and is thus considered to be a suitable shooting location for movies of those times. About 30 dolmans, millstones, sacred trees and sacred stones are scattered around the village.
Train: Seoul Station - Jangseong Station, Baekyang Temple Station (Honam Line)
Express bus: Gangnam Express Bus Terminal - Jangseong Public Bus Terminal -Munam-ri (the last stop)
Baekyang Temple I.C. - Bugi-myeon - Bugil-myeon - turn right (No.898 local highway) - toward Gochang (Seokjeong Spa) - 6km - Geummokmaeul entrance - 3km -Movie Village
Chungnyeong Mountain, at the rear of the village, is designated as a reservation area by the Forest Administration. It's suitable for shooting films thanks to the thick forest filled with cedars and Pyeonbaek trees. The walking road that crosses the mountain is especially exotic. Jangseong-gun is now concentrating on the Hong Gildong Memorial Project since the house where the legendary Korean figure Hong Gildong was born was recently found beyond the Chungnyeong Mountain. A traveling course around the mountain from Geumgok-maeul to the Hong Gildong Memorial House has been developed. In addition, there are many attractions such as: Galjae, the gateway to Namdo, Ibamsanseong situated on Ibam Mountain, a part of Noryeong Mountains, Pilam-seowon a representative private school of the Joseon Dynasty in the Honam area, Pyochung Temple in Gwangju, Mount Naejang, the main peak of the Noryeong Mountains, and Baekyang Temple situated in the valley between Gainbong and Baekhakbong.