5.18 and Sandglass

Yesterday, May 18th, is the 20th anniversary of 광주 민주화운동 (Gwangju Minjuhwa-undong) or the Gwangju Democratization Movement. We watched the anniversary ceremony broadcasted on KBS yesterday while on a weekend vacation in Jecheon City, my husband’s hometown. I’ve seen several documentaries on this violent uprising on KBS and EBS. My husband and his family are suckers for documentaries, and so am I even when I can barely understand what I’m watching.
The Philippines and South Korea have a lot of similarities, specially with our recent history. (And I guess that’s the reason why I feel so at home here.) Watching the videos of the Gwangju uprising made me think if that really happened in the same country I am now. I didn’t fully understand what it was all about until I saw the Korean drama “Sandglass” three years ago. My husband and I watched the 24-part series in just two days. He’d seen it years ago but he loved it so much he was just excited to watch it again with me (so he could tell me more about SoKor’s history). From that time on, I lost interest in most Korean dramas.
Sandglass is such a beautiful series. Incomparable to any Korean dramas I’d seen – fully or partially. It made huge stars of actors Park Sang Won, Choi Min Su, Go Hyeon Jeong, and Lee Jung Jae. No I’m not going to do a review of the mini series 😉 I’m not good at that – but you can find good ones here and here. I just enjoyed watching this series that I’m going to rewatch it again this week (hopefully after my son gets tired of watching Disney’s Cars). This drama showed real footages of the Gwangju upheaval, that my husband said had shocked the citizenry because they didn’t know how violent it was until then. However, it isn’t fully about the said uprising. It encompasses two decades of Korea’s tumultuous past. It’s tone is political but more than that, I loved this drama because it makes you imagine, i.e. it doesn’t spoon feed the viewer (think Wong Kar Wai’s In The Mood for Love).


  1. “he was just excited to watch it again with me (so he could tell me more about SoKor’s history). From that time on, I lost interest in most Korean dramas.”
    Haha, sounds like you lost interest in kdrama because you don’t want to hear your husband talk about Korea! I know that’s not what you mean, but it would be funny.
    I will give this a try. My friend recommends The Devil (MuWang?) and Soulmate, which I have but haven’t watched yet.

  2. I love Wong Kar Wai and In the Mood for Love. In fact, I’m having a Wong Kar Wai festival this week because I found Fallen Angels and Days of Being Wild in a video store in Apgujeong (happiness!). Finding a copy of Chungking Express would have made it perfect, but that would be asking too much.
    If Sandglass makes you think of my dear Wong Kar Wai, then it is a must-see for me 🙂

  3. @AzureWolf >> you should see the Sandglass… it’s really beautiful!
    @Tesha >> i have Chungking Express here… you should have told me 😉 bought it at Kyobo Bookstore

  4. thanks for your post about 518, we gonna link it up with our blogs…
    I never knew about these docu-film, I hope our foundation could acquire rights to them and do English subtitle for them..
    June 16 is a Monday ugh… won’t have chance to watch the concert of Ms. Lea…
    peterahons last blog post..Diwata ng Tubig sa Siyudad

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