'Candlelight Revolution' discusses costs of bad leadership, impeachment of Park Geun-hye

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'Candlelight Revolution' discusses costs of bad leadership, impeachment of Park Geun-hye

A scene from the documentary film, “Candlelight Revolution” / Courtesy of JUGIJA Co.LLC.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

By Kwak Yeon-soo

“Candlelight Revolution,” a documentary about the mass protests that played a major role in toppling former President Park Geun-hye, will premiere on Feb. 10, just a month before the March 9 presidential election.

Global Tech News Daily

The controversial timing of the release of the documentary has raised eyebrows among conservative politicians for being potentially political. However, the directors ― freelance journalist Joo Jin-woo and actor Kim Eui-sung, though liberals who regularly discuss their views on social media ― deny that claim, emphasizing the film’s purpose of educating the importance of choosing good leadership.

“One day in the summer of 2018, I was listening to the radio and I heard Rep. Woo Sang-ho (of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea) telling behind-the-scenes stories of the politics surrounding the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye. They were so intriguing that I suggested that Joo make a film based on these unknown stories,” Kim said during an interview with The Korea Times via Google Meet, Monday.

Global Tech News Daily

Kim and Joo initially suggested to several professional filmmakers to direct the documentary, but they all declined, leaving the two with no other option but to direct it themselves.

“Since the beginning, our primary purpose was to highlight the power of ordinary citizens who participated in candlelit protests and brought about significant change. We filmed the documentary in 2019 and were scheduled to release it in theaters in spring 2020. However, it got postponed due to the pandemic. We never intended to unveil it around the time of the presidential election,” Joo said.

'Candlelight Revolution' discusses costs of bad leadership, impeachment of Park Geun-hye

“Candlelight Revolution” directors Joo Jin-woo, left, and Kim Eui-sung / Courtesy of JUGIJA Co.LLC.

The film explores the Park administration’s poor handling of the tragic sinking of the Sewol ferry in April 2014 and her downfall in March 2017, prompted by the corruption scandal surrounding her ties to her secret confidante, Choi Soon-sil. It studies the devastating effects of poor leadership, based on interview clips with politicians and citizens.

“Joo’s personal connections were really useful when casting politicians to be interviewed for the project. In the case of citizens, we selected interviewees who shared fun, interesting experiences when taking part in the candlelit protests,” Kim said.

Several current presidential candidates appear in the documentary. Among them, Yoon Suk-yeol gave an interview as the senior prosecutor who conducted the corruption probe into the former president that eventually led to her impeachment. Ironically, he is now a presidential candidate of the main opposition People Power Party, the predecessor of the Saenuri Party, the party founded to support Park.

“Yoon gave the interview three years ago based on an event that occurred five years ago. The political environment has changed a lot since then. I wonder if our film will impact his political future, but I doubt it will, because he plays a minor role in the documentary,” Kim said.

To avoid criticism regarding their political intentions, they included footage of Lee Jae-myung, now the presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, making a speech during the candlelight protests when he was the Seongnam mayor.

“The speech by Lee was added later. We thought it was not right to have only the candidate of the main opposition party in the film,” Joo said. “But again, we made this documentary with an educational purpose rather than a political intention.”

The two discussed the challenges of directing. “I’ve appeared in a myriad of films and TV series, but I realized that I hadn’t studied directors on film sets. After directing this documentary, I paid close attention to directors and realized that they make tons of decisions every day. I’ve come to respect them,” Kim said.

Joo said they wanted to interview Park’s staunch loyalists, like former Rep. Lee Jung-hyun, who was the head of the then-ruling Saenuri Party, or Rep. Kim Jin-tae, who had quipped, “The candles are blown out when wind blows.” However, they refused all interview requests.

“The Candlelight Revolution is still relevant to our times and it leaves us with a really important lesson, which is the importance of selecting the right leader,” Joo said.

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