Brotherhood, a real,
no-nonsense look at how war
tears us apart
Well I really enjoyed, for want of a better word, that film Brotherhood. I can`t believe it`s been around 10 years and I`ve only seen it now. Well, better late than never. There is that theme of ordinary men being dragged into war – in this case two brothers – that it shares with Letters from Iwo Jima but the soldiers` characters in Brotherhood seem more angry about it and curse their way through it like you`d expect soldiers to, whereas in Letters they seem a lot more innocent, and reserved. It would have been interesting and realistic to hear a curse word. It made them all look like noble gentlemen which they might have been but even so hello you`re in war, you`re allowed to express yourself colourfully. People might say well you don`t need to express your anger or frustration through constant swearing and foul mouthed language but I think cursing lets off steam in a big way and even motivates you sometimes and lastly it`s better than taking your frustration out on some innocent bystander.
I`m not prudish about most swear words but one word I`ll draw the line at – the c word, and ok one particular use of the word fuck. Other than that I don`t have a problem with the word fuck or other swear words (I usually say `ah fuckit` myself or use it as an adjective `fucking —-`). A certain Scottish comedian used the c word last year towards a journalist in his audience he wasn`t a fan of and it was rightly criticized. There was no need for him to address her as that. Also saying a word like that regularly (not him but generally) in a casual way does not, in my opinion make it less offensive, and that is the argument of people who do this. The c-word is probably the most violent word you can use towards a woman (and unfortunately I have heard women use it as well towards other women – that`s the worst thing about it – but it still is no justification for its use by men towards women)
Anyway, back to Asia, I`ve only really heard any kind of serious swearing I think in yakuza movies and even then it wasn`t anything like what I heard in Brotherhood.
Given that the comfort women is still a sensitive topic in Korea, it was sad to see women suffer as they did in this all-Korean war (well with a bit of help on each side from other countries) in that not only were women and children slaughtered along with the men in their villages but women were killed and strung up from (what I could guess were) the entrance gates to the village. If they were not killed by the enemy, they might have been killed by their own villagers, having been accused perhaps of sleeping with the enemy soldier, as Young-Shin was at one stage of the film (in addition to joining the communists). In WWII in Europe, women who were accused of sleeping with the enemy had their heads shaved in front of the whole village/town (in France at least, if not other countries) to signify that their beauty would be ruined and no longer lead them to bad deeds.
I think I understand a little more about Korea and that war having watched that film and the extras included on the dvd.