The Value of Justice within the Aftermath of Tragedy

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Jayil Pak’s Korean-language brief movie “Georgia” opens on a scene that seems unremarkable within the excessive: a middle-aged couple are battling know-how, and shedding. They’re making an attempt to make use of Photoshop. The husband pecks the phrases “love” and “daughter” out together with his index fingers. They bicker, grapple for management of the mouse, and the husband friends farsightedly at an instruction handbook. They wish to use the font Georgia, however can’t make it work; the Korean characters flip into clean squares. An knowledgeable is required. The husband warns his spouse that this may triple the prices for his or her mission. She insists and he acquiesces, arrested by the sight of a piggy financial institution with the phrases “American dream” written throughout its plastic stomach.It quickly turns into obvious that that is no extraordinary household. The beloved daughter, Jina Lee, killed herself after a gaggle of her high-school classmates gang-raped her. A member of the varsity design membership, she had been engaged on a Korean model of the font Georgia, and dreamed of going to design college in the USA. After Jina’s suicide, her mom suffered a stroke and now struggles to talk. She is dependent upon her husband, who bathes her and takes her alongside to his manufacturing unit job, in an improvised cart hitched to his bicycle. The couple are three months behind on hire and beneath monumental strain to take a money settlement from the rapists’ households. However they’re unable to maneuver on, and so they funnel their meagre assets into making protest banners that they consider will pressure the police to reinvestigate Jina’s case.Pak drew inspiration for “Georgia” from a infamous 2004 gang-rape case in Miryang, South Korea, by which no less than forty-one male high-school college students have been accused of raping a number of middle-and-high-school-age women in the midst of nearly a 12 months. The rapes provoked widespread outrage, as did the police’s dealing with of the following investigation: officers reportedly harangued the victims, telling them they’d ruined the town’s popularity, and leaked figuring out details about them to the media. Pak, who noticed the scandal from the U.S., the place he was residing on the time, stated that when he was writing his script he discovered himself struggling to make the story plausible. “For those who made a movie precisely about it, it’s nearly like one-dimensional storytelling,” he stated, referring to the case. “I felt I needed to tone it down. I didn’t assume anybody would consider it.”Pak’s model of the story picks up after the official investigation has closed, and grapples with the isolation and arrested feelings that the sufferer’s mother and father really feel within the aftermath. The perpetrators within the movie, as within the real-life case, face solely minor punishments for his or her crimes. Solely one of many rapists is distributed to juvenile detention, and two have confronted suspensions from college. When Jina’s mom goes to scrub out her daughter’s college locker, she finds, to her rage, one of many boys laughing together with his associates and consuming tonkatsu, a dish her daughter additionally beloved.In the course of the movie’s thirty-minute runtime, the phrase “we nonetheless have a life to reside” is repeated—by the mom of one of many alleged rapists, and even Jina’s father. The perpetrators and their households, the opposite college students in school, the police, and the neighborhood at giant are prepared to maneuver on. However, of their combat to carry their daughter’s abusers to account, Jina’s mother and father should contemplate the tough questions of what the residing owe the lifeless, and the chance and prices of justice.

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