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Annyeong, Sayonara (2005)

About Annyeong, Sayonara

This joint Korean-Japanese production follows a Korean woman, Lee Ha-jong, as she searches for her father’s remains. He - like tens of thousands of other Koreans - was forced into the Japanese military, and subsequently killed during WW2. She is joined by a Japanese man, seeking reconciliation between his country’s military past, and the countries victimized by that history. The filmmakers portray both sides of a still highly emotional debate that centers around the enshrinement of soldiers at the Yasukuni Shrine, and Lee’s lawsuit to prevent her father from being enshrined there. As Lee visits Japan and the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, she confronts - and is confronted by a wall of nationalistic pride that might be compared to neo-Nazis defending the righteousness of The Reich. This is contrasted with her meeting and working with Japanese peace activists, who deplore their countries’ militaristic past, and seek to heal the wounds with her neighbors.

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