‘Escape From Mogadishu’ director: “I have to convince viewers who don’t know the truth”

It’s the most-watched Korean movie of 2021 thus far

Director Ryoo Seung-wan has spoken about the creative process behind his latest film, Escape From Mogadishu.

In an interview with Yonhap News Agency, the South Korean director talked about how Escape From Mogadishu had been shaped by the experience from his oft-criticised 2017 period action film The Battleship Island.

Much like Ryoo’s 2017 work, Mogadishu is also based on a historical story, but this time around, the director said he took a different approach. “I’ve learned that I could fall into the trap of a spectacle when facing a far more intriguing story like Mogadishu,” he said.

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“I also understood that I need to maintain a certain distance from the story when I deal with such a spectacular incident or character,” he added, noting that he “tried to present the choices of people in a hopeless situation, rather than telling a big story, like the relationship between a nation and its people”.

Escape From Mogadishu stars Kim Yoon-seok and Heo Joon-ho as South and North Korean ambassadors trying to flee Somalia during the East African country’s 1991 civil war. Ryoo said he thought it was “important” for audiences to experience the scale of the Somali Civil War and the “desperate efforts made by people in the Korean mission”.

“This movie has so many spectacles. What I needed was to subtract things that hurt the balance,” Ryoo added. “The reality is more dramatic and theatrical than any film. So I had to tweak the reality, because I have to convince the viewers who don’t know the truth.”

According to Yonhap News Agency, Escape From Mogadishu is currently the most-watched Korean film of 2021 so far with over 1.8million moviegoers as of Tuesday (August 10).

In other South Korean entertainment-related news, South Korean actor Ji Chang-wook has fully recovered from COVID-19 and will resume filming for the upcoming K-drama The Sound Of Magic. The production for The Sound Of Magic had been halted late last month after both Ji and an unnamed member of the show’s production crew tested positive for the virus in a preemptive test.

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