Friday, September 2, 2016

The Silenced, Revenge of the Comfort Women

1938 Seoul...a dangerous place to be.  Korea, then, was part of the Japanese least that is what Japan said. Heading into a war to take over half the world, Japan needed to keep the brave troops happy.  Hence young, attractive Korean women were sent to Japan to serve as 'comfort women'....translation....prostitutes.  To this day most Koreans haven't forgiven Japan, and either does the 2015 film "The Silenced."
Shizuko (Bo-yeoug Park) is sent to a mysterious boarding school outside of Seoul.  She is recovering from tuberculosis and is also being treated by the infirmary.  In fact, all the girls were sickly when they arrived.  Shizuko only makes one friend, Yeon-duk (So-dam Park).  The girls seemed brainwashed and are all competing for a chance to be sent to Tokyo for some unexplained reason.  The sultry, but probably evil, headmistress (Ji-won Uhm) tells them that only the morally pure and physically fit will be sent to Tokyo...thus the girls are competing against each other.  But wait! Do girls ever leave this school?
Shizuko and her friend realize that the girls who have left have all done so in the middle of the night without any explanation.  As Shizuko and Yeon-duk get closer, both girls realize they are changing.  A Japanese army officer is seen meeting with the headmistress, and is very interested in the physical progress of the girls.  Creepy visions and some gory accidents have our two protagonists growing suspicious.. That's all I'll tell you of this plot. The final half hour is wild.  Think of "Carrie" and "Firestarter" combined and multiply that by 10.  Whatever pent up hostility Korea harbors toward Japan is released in that 30 minutes...and it will be bloody and loud.
What does the boarding school have planned for our young girls?  Many in the forgive and forget crowd will say that "The Silenced" isn't at all helpful for healing painful wounds between  two fine countries.  Probably not, but fans of gore, mad-scientists, experiments gone horribly wrong, and other various sundries of carnage will want to see this film.  "The Silenced," directed by Hae-young Lee, is available on Netflix.

1 comment:

  1. We all too often ignore the uncomfortable -- that which must be confronted.