Anarchist From Colony
London East Asian Film Festival 2017
Anarchist from Colony is a biopic telling of Park Yeol, an anarchist from South Korea living in Tokyo, Japan where he formed the anarchist group Futeisha (“The Outlaws”), which was named to satirise the way Koreans were referred to as troublemakers by the Japanese authorities. It was during his time with Futeisha that he met his future partner, Fumiko Keneko (Choi Hee-seo) with whom he continued to make a stand against the government ans raise awareness of the torment that Koreans faced under Japanese Imperialism.
The film follows Park through the early 1920s during his time being involved with Futeisha and plotting to destructively oppose the government. But when a natural disaster occurs during this horrifically harsh time, Park realises that there is a more constructive way to make his cause stranger even though it means sacrificing himself to the government. To do this he hands himself in to be arrested. At first the government are unable to decide how to sentence him and therefore dishonestly convict him of treason in the highest form.
Park Yeol is portrayed with great depth by Lee Je-hoon. The rugged Park, who manages to use his streetwise knowledge and instinct to help endure the brutal interrogations.
At this time, the streets of Tokyo were an unsafe place for Korean citizens as Japanese vigilantes would wonder the streets looking for helpless Korean people to kill as shown in the film’s more shocking scenes which show a young girl being murdered.
The performances are strong. Also impressive is actress Choi Hee-seo, an equally tough but stubborn character who is committed to the Futeisha’s cause and will stop at nothing to fight alongside Park, even when behind bars.
Anarchist From Colony is a great, thought provoking, true story that starts as a rebellious tale which then becomes a love story behind bars and with a cause.
All event photos used with permission from the London East Asian Film Festival.