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Escaping from Civil War and Partnering with the Enemy

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By Roger Costa

ESCAPE FROM MOGADISHU

Based on a fantastic true story of survival and comradeship, Ryoo Seung-wan’s action-packed, fun-wild escape saga is an impressive mainstream work that brilliantly echoes our troubled times.

An intensely executed, masterly done work of action and suspense, the film manages to explore political, ethical and humanitarian issues with relevance, highlighted by its skillful visual and sound techniques.

It follows a group of Korean Diplomats pursuing a spot at the United Nations in Somalia, when they get stranded and caught up amidst the Civil War. They unite forces with their eternal rivals, another group of Diplomats, representing the embassy from North Korea, those supposedly responsible for arming the rebels. Their interactions, both as an attempt to settle peace, or the inevitable unashamed conflicts, demonstrate the role of compassion and empathy: virtues much needed back then, and in today’s world.

After opening the New York Asian Film Festival and garnering several prizes at Buil Film Awards, including for Best Film and Screenplay, among others, it gains worldwide attention and the Hollywood spotlight as Korea’s official entry for the 2022 Oscars.

Focusing on their bravery and determination for survival, and consequent friendship, the director succeeds with an entertaining structure that subtly adds elements of screwball comedy and the perils of the chasing thriller. Gorgeously crafted, it precisely reconstructs the chaos of war on the streets, providing raw and extremely violent sequences of human brutality.

Amusing and astonishing, it is an accomplished political thriller that pacifically suggests a long-awaited unification, and reflects on giving a hand to others despite their differences.

(Well Go USA. Now Available on Digital Platforms.)


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