Set during the 1948 Jeju Massacre in Korea, writer-director Muel O's "Jiseul" tells the story of some 120 villagers who hid in a cave for 60 days from soldiers who were under shoot-to-kill orders.
They suffer from severe cold and hunger but retain their sanity by making jokes and holding on to the hope that their wait is almost over.
Eventually their endurance wanes, and fear begins to test the group’s mettle.
The film took home the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Feature at this year's Sundance Film Festival last night at a ceremony in Park City, Utah.
Muel O uses striking black-and-white cinematography to capture the texture of the region as well as the humanity of its inhabitants.
The film doesn’t condemn anyone but rather focuses on the heart of the story—real people living in fear.
As a representative of the Jeju-based independent culture project, Terror J, director Muel O chooses to direct films set on his native Jeju Island.
Born in 1971, O has directed several feature films—most recently Nostalgia in 2009—in addition to various plays and performances. He also organized a street art festival called Flower for a Jeju Head, is codirector at the Jeju Independent Film Society, and acts as artistic director of the Japari Research Center
For more info visit: http://filmguide.sundance.org/film/13082/jiseul