The Korea Herald


'The Birth of Korea' sequel to be released next year

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Feb. 29, 2024 - 20:26

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"The Birth of Korea" director Kim Deok-young speaks during a press conference held in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)

The sequel to the box office hit political documentary film “The Birth of Korea” will be released next year, while director Kim Deok-young plans to produce up to five installments for the detailed portrayal of South Korea's first president Syngman Rhee.

Director Kim said “The Birth of Korea 2” will open in local theaters on March 26 next year, marking the 150th anniversary of Rhee’s birth.

“I have so many stories to tell. Because I have covered so many things about him in a broad scope, the (first) movie couldn’t include all the material I have researched,” director Kim told reporters during a press conference held in Seoul on Thursday. The conference was organized following the movie’s box office success, surpassing 1 million admissions in just 27 days after the movie’s release.

Adding that the subtitle of the film will be “human Syngman Rhee,” director Kim said that the second installment will shed light President's Rhee's personal life, including his personal character and religious beliefs, in contrast to the first installment about his political achievements.

“The fact that he traveled around the world back in that era can make an enormous picture. He is the very first person to do so when Joseon was not even near the time of enlightenment,” Kim told reporters.

“The Birth of Korea” covers South Korea’s first president Syngman Rhee and the country’s first-generation of politicians and their efforts to protect the country. While the film looks back on a 70-year history and reinterprets some of Rhee’s major achievements like farmland reform, it also has drawn criticism that the film is a “political propaganda film” with a right-leaning perspective.