Following close on the heels of last week’s open letter penned by Spanish filmmakers including Pedro Almodovar, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, a handful of Korean movie-biz professionals and others have added their voices to the chorus in calling for an end to the violence in Gaza. In a letter titled “Peace in Palestine!” and posted to the website of non-profit peace organization Nanum Munhwa, Korean filmmakers including Oldboy director Park Chan-wook, The Attorney producer Jae-Won Choi and The Berlin File helmer Seung-wan Ryoo want Israel’s “massacre” of civilians to be “stopped immediately.”
The petition demands that Israel’s “indiscriminate slaughter of civilians and children must immediately stop”, that the United States and European countries stop supporting Israel’s military; and for South Korea’s government to stop arms exports to Israel. As the brutal fighting goes on, the letter represents one more example of a far away group of elites who have felt compelled to speak up, and just as many are facing harsh criticism for doing so. The Korean filmmakers may not be as high profile in the West, but are award winners who are certainly known in their part of the world and on global arthouse and festival circuits. The letter, which is only available in Korean, was also signed by other members of the arts as well as professors and religious figures.