the battleship island



In 1944, with Korea under Japanese colonial rule and World War II reaching its peak, bandmaster LEE Gang-ok earns a living in Seoul playing jazz music which was banned at the time. However, when he tries to travel with his young daughter and band members to the Japanese mainland, they are duped and forcibly taken by the Japanese military to the small Island of Hashima, located 15km off the coast of Nagasaki. There they become conscripted laborers in a massive undersea coal mine that supports the Japanese war effort.

Hashima (nicknamed "Battleship Island" for its resemblance to a Japanese war vessel) is the place of unspeakable horrors for the 400 Koreans who suffer under slave-like conditions. Amongst the Koreans are CHOI Chil-sung, a notorious Seoul gangster; Mallyon who has been forced into sexual servitude as a "comfort woman"; and a mysterious young man named PARK Mu-young. Gang-ok, meanwhile, manages to protect his daughter Sohee by serving as an interpreter and dealmaker between the Koreans and the Japanese.  

As the months pass and the U.S. increases its military measures on Japan, tensions reach a breaking point between the cruel Japanese overlords and the exhausted and desperate Koreans. Meanwhile, PARK Mu-young, who turns out to be a U.S.-trained independence fighter on a covert mission, unveils the dark reality behind how the island is actually run. Just as chaos is about to break loose, and the Japanese leaders begin to consider drastic measures, Mu-young steps up with a daring and risky plan to evacuate all 400 Koreans from the island.



Genre: War, Action

Country: Republic of Korea

Year: 2017

Duration: 132 minutes

Director: RYOO Seung-wan

Language(s):  Korean, Japanese

Subtitles: English subtitles

Producer(s): Kang Hye-Jung

Screenplay: Ryoo Seung-Wan, Shin Kyoung-Ill

Cinematographer:  Lee Mogae

Editor: Kim Sang-Bum Kim Jae-Bum

Sound: Kim Chang-Sub

Music: Bang Jun-Suk                       

Principal Cast:  HWANG Jung-min, SO Ji-sub, SONG Joong-ki, LEE Jung-hyun, LEE Kyoung-young, KIM Suan

Dates & Times: October 27, 2:00pm

Plays In:  ArcLight Cinemas - Culver City

Eventbrite - Asian World Film Festival - THE BATTLESHIP ISLAND - Republic of Korea