Song Joong-ki, Hwang Jung-min, So Ji-sub escape Battleship Island
Director Ryu Seung-wan, who helmed Hwang Jung-min’s 2015 blockbuster Veteran, is returning this summer with a new film starring Hwang and two of the hottest stars in Korea: Song Joong-ki (Descended From the Sun) and So Ji-sub (Oh My Venus). This upcoming film, called Battleship Island, is set during the Japanese occupation and is based on a true story about a massive prison break from Hashima Island, a small island off the coast of Japan nicknamed Battleship Island for its shape, and the site of a forced labor camp.
The first trailer is entirely in Japanese, narrated by an officer who tells a group of Joseon laborers about their expected wages and living conditions as they go further and further underground. But the Korean copy that flashes in between the graphic scenes of forced labor in the mines several thousand feet below the ground reads: “We cannot escape or die. We called this place Hell Island.” As scenes of their harrowing attempt to escape the labor camp flash by, another officer says in voiceover, “We cannot let a single Joseon person remain who remembers what happened here.”
Hwang Jung-min plays a traveling musician who is a dedicated father to his young daughter. While attempting to get to Japan, they are transferred to Hashima Island instead, a place where the Japanese have oppressed both Joseon and Chinese people into slavery, working them without the freedom to leave or even the barest of necessities like clothing or food. So people die like flies under the harsh conditions, but no one comes to this far-off island to help them because they never hear about the human rights violations happening there.
However, even in the darkest places, hope can survive, and that occurs in the form of an idea amongst the prisoners: to stage a large-scale escape from the island. So Ji-sub plays a street fighter who becomes one of the leaders of the prison break operation, and Song Joong-ki plays a Korean independence fighter who initially goes undercover to Hashima Island to rescue a key figure in the movement.
The intertwining story of these three individuals as they work together to make their way to freedom will be told through Battleship Island, which premieres this July.
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