Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

August 15th is an important holiday for Korea known as National Liberation Day. It is a day that marks Korea’s victory over the Japanese colonial rule that lasted for 35 years between 1910-1945.

This crucial part of Korean history has been the subject of many films and dramas over the years. To learn more about this period of history, here are our picks for movies to watch this Liberation Day!

Assassination (2015)

“Assassination” stars Jun Ji Hyun as prisoner Ahn Ok-yun, the only sniper skilled enough to take out the Japanese army’s commander. When the patriot agent Yen Sek-jin (Lee Jung Jae) has his plans to extricate Ok-yun and her comrades from prison in Shanghai exposed, the group returns to Korea unaware that a Japanese spy and hit-man (Ha Jung Woo) is after them. 

Mal-Mo-E: The Secret Mission (2019)

This historical drama is partly based on true events during the late 1930s to 1940s when the Korean language was banned in schools by the Imperial Japanese government. “Mal-Mo-E” follows an illiterate middle-aged thief Kim Pan-Soo (Yoo Hae Jin) and a young Korean Language Society scholar Ryu Jeong Hwa (Yoon Kye Sang) who join forces to publish a dictionary to preserve and save the Korean language.

Anarchist from Colony (2017)

Based on the life of independence activist Park Yeol (played by Lee Je Hoon), this biographical drama tells the story of an anarchist group leader who is targeted by the Japanese Affairs Minister as part of a cover-up for the massacre of 6000 Koreans by Japanese vigilantes. 

The Age Of Shadows (2016)

Award-winning director Kim Jee Woon takes us to the late 1920s in this action thriller. “The Age Of Shadows” follows the cat-and-mouse game between a group of resistance fighters and Japanese agents trying to stop them. Lee Jung-chool (Song Kang Ho) is a Korean police captain ordered by the Japanese colonial government to take down resistance leaders, particularly the key figure Kim Woo-jin (Gong Yoo). 

The Battle: Roar to Victory (2019)

“The Battle: Roar to Victory” revolves around the fierce, four-day Battle of Fengwudong: an intense battle between Korean independence fighters and Japanese forces in 1920. This period action film stars Yoo Hae Jin as sword-wielding Hwang Hae-cheol, Jo Woo Jin as sniper Byeong-gu, and Ryu Jun Yeol as young squad commander Jang-ha. 

Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (2016)

The story of the life and death of renowned Korean poet Yun Dong-ju (played by Kang Ha Neul) who was imprisoned by the Japanese government for being involved in the independence movement, “Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet” was made in black-and-white which makes it feel even more authentic as a biographical period piece.

Happy Liberation Day to Korea! We honor all of those who bravely helped achieve her freedom! Which of these inspiring films have you seen before? What did you think of them? Do you plan on adding one of these movies to your watchlist today? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting to us @whatthekpop1 or leaving us a comment on Facebook and Instagram!

Justin loves all types of music including K-pop. He is especially passionate about underrated and lesser-known artists. He is also an avid tv show and soap opera fan.

MEDIA: As Credited