Film Archive

Army

Documentary Film
South Korea
2018
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, Junho Park
Kelvin Kyung Kun Park
Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, David Park
Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, Hein Seok
Paulo Vivacqua
Woochul’s face is running with sweat. Another one of those countless parades during which one is supposed to let the gun in one’s hand dance, following a strict choreography. Eternal drill. Permanent exercises. It’s hot and Woochul’s eyes flash with effort and nerves. The military training that’s compulsory for all young South Koreans lasts two years. Director Kelvin Kyung Kun Park himself is haunted until today by his traumatic time as a recruit. In his film, Woochul turns into an alter ego he uses to reflect on himself and Korean society, including the military system.

Ufos play a role, since these are seen with inordinate frequency by soldiers, a fact Park interprets as the expression of a specific mental state. Religion, too. In “Army”, a Christian K-Pop girl band performs no less than twice to frenetic cheering, calling upon their emotionally softened audience to write to them. How many men may actually do this and hope for an answer? Last, but not least, “Army” is about depression, from which both, director and protagonist, suffer in the course of their service. Kelvin Kyung Kun Park reports (and stays silent) in a basic tone of dry empathy. The film is dedicated to all those who lost their lives during military service.

Carolin Weidner