SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — As North Korea continues to raise the stakes in inter-Korean relations, a South Korean film and television series depicting sweet romance among individuals from North and South Korea are being subjected to criticism for failing to take note of the current situation.
“Ashfall,” a South Korean movie currently garnering success at the South Korean box office, is facing criticism despite choosing a commercially acceptable scenario developed since 2014.
The movie is being criticized for spotlighting the heroic acts of North Korean agents who help stop Mount Paekdu, the highest peak on the Korean Peninsula located along the North Korea-China border, from an explosion.
“Crash Landing on You,” a new TV drama depicting a romantic relationship between a rich bachelorette from South Korea and an elite military officer from North Korea is also being frowned upon by a number of viewers, despite high ratings.
The series introduces North Korean villages bordering South Korea as part of a peaceful and prosperous countryside, which some see as a distortion of reality.
“I had to change the channel, because it seemed to depict North Korea as something too detached from reality,” said one source.
Hyun Bin from “Crash Landing on You,” Jung Woo-sung from “Steel Rain,” and Lee Byung-hun from “Ashfall,” all of whom take on the characters from North Korea, are ‘too handsome’ for the roles, some critics say.
“When inter-Korean relations are deteriorating, we need to cast handsome actors to play the roles of North Koreans in order to attract more viewers,” said one movie expert.
Despite the controversy, North Korea is a great source of inspiration for many content creators.
“Even if the movie is about North Korea, it all comes down to interpersonal relationships, rather than conflict and betrayal,” said one movie distributor.
“Political factors may matter when it comes to choosing the dates for screening, but that applies to all movies.”
“Crash Landing on You” does reflect to a certain extent various realities of North Korean society, such as the wide use of wiretapping and frequent blackouts.
“The audience nowadays seems to go beyond the confines of politics to enjoy a movie, focusing on the messages and entertainment factors of the piece,” said Jung Ji-wook, a film critic.
“Films about the two Koreas, however, need to be created with more delicacy due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter.”
Lina Jang (email@example.com)