Hope Review: Details of Suffering of Sexual Violence Survivors

Hope Review: Details of Suffering of Sexual Violence Survivors

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Hope Review: Details of Suffering of Sexual Violence Survivors. The process of recovering victims and criticism of the weakness of the justice system.

“Hope” (2013) is a South Korean film directed by Lee Joon Ik, a producer and director who recently returned to shine at the 57th BaekSang Arts Awards for winning the Grand Prize through his latest work “The Book of Fish” (2021). ).

The film “Hope” (original title: So-won) is Lee Joon Ik's most popular work and has won many awards in South Korea. This film even won the 34th Blue Dragon Film Award for Best Film, beating several strong nominees such as “The Face Reader” (2013) and “The Berlin File” (2013).

The film that describes the long suffering of a survivor of sexual violence who is still a minor and, the sad story of the victim's parents managed to make tears flow throughout the film.

Films Based on Tragic Stories

Incidents of sexual violence experienced by minors is a tragedy that should be suffered by everyone who still has a conscience. The dream of creating an ideal world that is safe and comfortable for everyone can easily be tarnished by the tragic story of an eight-year-old girl, whose name has been left vague as “Nayoung”.

The tragedy known as the “Nayoung Case” occurred in South Korea in 2008, where a little girl had to become a victim of senseless human depravity. This story was later made into a film called "Hope" whose script was written by Jo Jong Hoon and Kim Ji-hye.

The film, which had received harsh criticism because it was considered to take advantage of the suffering experienced by these survivors, can in fact be a detailed description of the difficult times experienced by the victim and the people around him.

Long-Term Suffering Little Girl Sexual Violence Survivor

“Hope” continues with the story of a cheerful little girl named Im So Won (Lee Re), who one day experiences a heartbreaking tragedy. He became the victim of sexual assault by a drunkard in a small alley near his school.

The details of So Won's suffering were then recorded clearly since the incident, she suffered fatal damage to her intestines and anus so that all her life she had to wear a colostomy bag.

What happened to So Won, became a nightmare for many people, especially her parents Im Dong-hoon (Sol Kyung-gu) and Kim Min-hee (Uhm Ji-won). They show the heaviest suffering of a parent who tries to scavenge the remnants of hope in his injured only child.

Sharp Criticism of South Korea's Justice System

In addition to recording details of the suffering of survivors who have to endure the wounds for life, "Hope" also provides a big stage for throwing sharp criticism of the justice system in South Korea.

As is well known, cases of sexual harassment and violence are indeed a bit difficult in terms of handling. Because it involves the testimony of two parties whose proof is not enough just from opinion alone, but requires concrete evidence that is very difficult to obtain.

This film shows how a small child aged eight years, who is a survivor must be willing to be shaken again by his emotions to just find out who the person who hurt him is.

It's not enough, the victim's family must also be faced with the terrible possibility that will occur in ten to twenty years when the defendant is released. Their children will be threatened again even when they are not even mature.

The complicated legal process in Korea, the procedural threats to the victim's mental health, and the controversy over the reduction of sentences for mental disorders due to alcoholism are the focus of this film, and become a form of sharp criticism of the legal system that does not reflect justice.

The Kokomong Figure as an Allegory of "Hope"

The film "Hope" is not completely filled with tears and sadness, but is also filled with beautiful emotional scenes between So Won and her father. The existence of So-won's favorite cartoon character, Kokomong, is a bright spot for the happiness that the Dong-hoon family can one day get back.

The interaction between father and son that was not okay because of So-won's condition, who still has trauma to the figure of an adult man. Being able to improve again thanks to Kokomong, a clown who seems to give hope to a new chapter in So Won's life.

Besides showing a lot of sad scenes. Thanks to the cinematography of Kim Tae-gyeong, "Hope" was able to present cinematic images that framed the warmth of a family with the right portion. Especially the closeness between So Won and his father figure Dong-hoon.

In the end, this 122-minute film, which also stars senior actress Kim Hae-sook, can be a recommendation for viewing when you want to enjoy a film with a good story.

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