In an age filled with lies, propaganda, distortion, and glossing over, I came to see a documentary film that was factual, scientific, and faithfully researched
By (Cherry) LEE YEON-SIL, Seoul
When the movie ended, the audience applauded thunderously. Director Young-Deok Kim was also different. I’ve seen countless movies, from anti-communist films from the 1970s and films about Admiral Yi Sun-sin to the recent ‘The Spring in Seoul’ , that I saw the other day was over painted, distorted, and exaggerated, so I felt uncomfortable the whole time I was watching it. I liked this movie because it was simple. Above all, it is trustworthy as it uses accurate facts and historical data.
Throughout the modern and contemporary history of the Republic of Korea, there is only one person who has experienced both Chinese studies and studying abroad in the United States like President Syngman Rhee. It is certain that such a leader will never appear again in the future. Because President Lee was fluent in English, he personally delivered a speech to the U.S. Congress. How big was the role of English in diplomacy during the times of President Wilson, Truman, General MacArthur, President Roosevelt, and President Eisenhower?
If it were not for founding President Syngman Rhee, if not for the United States, the Republic of Korea today would not exist. No matter how you look at it, the Korea-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty, Korea’s military reinforcement, and Korea’s economic aid are miracles. He is a master of diplomacy, as can be seen from the fact that he was able to reach a mutual treaty between the United States, the most powerful country on earth at the time, and a weak country in Northeast Asia, which was the poorest and had no presence. Is it like a graduate student and a preschool kid sitting across from each other and playing Baduk?
In particular, the land reform that returned farmland to tenant farmers, which was unprecedented in the world, the granting of suffrage to women, the use of 20% of the national budget as an education budget to enlighten the public, and the ceaseless efforts to prevent communism in the country, 1950 It is also surprising that people were already aware of the importance of nuclear energy and made preparations in the 1990s. President Syngman Rhee was a savior sent from heaven. He was a visionary, a trailblazer, and a lonely fighter who had far-reaching insight into the times.
Throughout the modern and contemporary history of the Republic of Korea, there is only one person who has experienced both Chinese studies and studying abroad in the United States like President Syngman Rhee.
The first president, Syngman Rhee, laid the railroad that became the Republic of Korea in the 20th century. Along that railroad, the economic locomotive ran at full speed thanks to President Park Chung-hee‘s leadership and the efforts of the people. In particular, how big was the role of Busan and Ulsan? Two cities highlighted Korea in world history. Today, pro-North Korea forces are using all kinds of tricks to derail the locomotive of the Republic of Korea. Plus, I’m trying to run backwards. If it weren’t for President Syngman Rhee, wouldn’t we now be living at the level of China’s peasant workers under the communist system? It’s dizzying just thinking about it.
First, let’s look at only the Philippines and Singapore in Asia. What happened to the Philippines, an Asian powerhouse in the mid-20th century, today? Let’s take a look at the power of the leader who turned Singapore, an island abandoned from Malaysia in 1965 because there were so many problems that nothing could be done about it, into a powerful nation with the world’s second-highest national competitiveness! South Korea exists between the four dragons of the United States, China, Russia, and Japan. I cried throughout the movie. The tears did not stop even after the movie ended, and the history of the Korean Peninsula was so heartbreaking that it continued into the 21st century.
The Korean Peninsula was a land of blood where millions of people died, and its modern history was pitiful throughout. It is fortunate that Korea did not collapse or disappear as a loser in history even in the situation in Northeast Asia, which was the world’s powder keg in the mid-20th century. I am infinitely proud of being the country that created the miracle of the Han River. However, on the other hand, my blood boils when I look at today’s political and social reality, where a ship is heading towards a mountain.
Everyone has merits and demerits in their life. President Syngman Rhee visited the hospital where injured college students were hospitalized during the April 19 incident to offer condolences. I saw the look in his eyes. It was a look of sincere love for the people. Because he had such humanity, he visited every island in Hawaii, emphasized education for poor Koreans and female children, and established actual schools to enlighten them. President Lee was the best elite at the time and had no shortcomings in many ways. If he had not loved his country and people, he would have settled in the developed country of the United States and enjoyed personal wealth and glory.
Even after his death, he was not buried in Hawaii but was transported to Gimpo Airport. This is the part where you can see how much he loved his country, both in life and in death. As I was coming out of the movie, many people’s eyes were wet. When the movie ended, I applauded like the rest of the audience for the first time in nearly 60 years. In an age filled with lies, propaganda, distortion, and glossing over, I came to see a documentary film that was factual, scientific, and faithfully researched. It is the best gift during the Lunar New Year holiday. It feels like 10 years of congestion is going down. I need to introduce this movie to foreign count.
This movie is a masterpiece.