Director: Lee Doo-yong
Year : 2018
Jagko (1980), along with The Last Witness (Lee Doo-yong, 1980), is acknowledged as a masterpiece of the tragedy of contemporary Korean history. Adapted a war writer Kim Junghui's short story, a screenwriter Song Kil-han wrote the scenario and a director Im Kwon-taek directed it as his 74th film. Song Kil-han and Im Kwon-taek found a kindred spirit in each other for filming Jagko because of the time period and introspection. They started planning this filming when Gwangju Democratization Movement failed in vain and new military took over the country in May 1980. What they wanted to do through this film was to face the ideologic issues using a left-wing North Korean partisan unlike existing anticommunism films under the national policy. The film goes back and forth of the 30-year long tragedy between a combat police Song Ki-yol and the general of partisan corps Chako using sophisticated flashback, and shows how the Korean War, a proxy war of world powers, drove people into destruction.
Im Kwon-taek hopes to tell that the main two characters were just puppets of the country and that South and North Koreas were nothing but chess pieces played by world powers. Nonetheless, after two times of censorship, the scene of TV program pointing that the Korean War was a test site of local war by world powers and the words of a policeman asking the meaning of lost communist guerillas were deleted. The feature presentation that we can see now only has a hint of these, leaving us a sense of frustration. However, ironically, Jagko was acknowledged as a national anti-communism film by receiving Daejong Film Award for Best Screenplay - Adapted and Excellent Anti-communism Film in 1980, and Special Anti-communism Film in the newly-created Anti-communism Film section in 1981.
The commentary of this Blu-ray is done by Kim Dai-seung, the director of Blood Rain (2005) and Ju Seong-cheol, the editor-in-chief of "Cine 21." Kim Dai-seung, who used to work in the film directing team of The Tae-Baeks (1994) under the director Im Kwon-taek, expresses his respect to his teacher and, together with Ju Seong-cheol, delivers explanations on the film producing environment in those days and on the entire film in details. Additionally, pictures before and after restoration are included to allow comparison. The booklet that is always produced in a high quality so appraised by collectors includes a film critic Park Yu-hui's essay on the director and the film in both Korean and English.
ㅇ Drama | 102min | 15+
ㅇ Subtitles : Korean, English, Japanese
ㅇ Video: 1080P HD 2.66:1 AVC
ㅇ Audio: Korean LPCM Mono
ㅇ Special Features
- Commentary 1: Kim Dai-seung (film director), Ju Seong-cheol (editor-in-chief at "Cine 21")
- Commentary 2: Im Kwon-taek (film director), Heo Mun-yeong (film critic) [2012-released DVD]
- Commentary 3: Song Gil-han (screenwriter), Kim Hong-joon (film director) [2012-released DVD]
- Pictures before and after restoration
- Collection of images
- "<jagko>, opens a new chapter of films about divided Korea" Park Yu-hui (film critic, a professor at Department of Creative Writing and Media Studies of Korea University)