Published : 2013-09-05 10:54
Updated : 2013-09-05 10:54
A controversial documentary on the 2010 sinking of the South Korean warship was released nationwide on Thursday after a local court rejected the Navy's request for an injunction against what it called defamatory content.
"Project Cheonan Ship," which is directed by independent filmmaker Baek Seung-woo and produced by Chung Ji-young, challenges a multinational investigation team's conclusion that North Korea is responsible for torpedoing the Navy vessel Cheonan in the western sea on March 26, 2010. Pyongyang has denied any involvement in the incident that killed 46 sailors.
Last month, a group of Navy officers and families of fallen soldiers filed an injunction with the local court to prevent the film's release this month.
On Wednesday, the Uijeongbu District Court, north of Seoul, rejected its injunction call, allowing the movie to be screened in 35 theaters nationwide as scheduled.
"The right to produce and screen a movie is guaranteed by the Constitutional right to freedom of speech," the court said in a ruling. "The documentary presented different opinions of the multinational investigation team's conclusion, but it doesn't seem to defame the reputation of the plaintiffs with false information."
The court said injunction requests should be accepted in very limited circumstances, noting that the documentary was made to facilitate public discussions over the ship's sinking.
The 75-minute movie drew media attention when it was first shown in April at the Jeonju International Film Festival. Following the screening, the defense ministry criticized it for creating confusion about the tragic incident that took the lives of the young soldiers.
A multinational team, involving the United States, England, Canada, Australia and Sweden, concluded that the ship sank after it was hit by a North Korean submarine's torpedo. (Yonhap news)