Several schools have faced strong opposition for organizing field trips to theaters to show the movie 12.12: The Day to students.
The film depicts a true 9-hour coup attempt that unfolded in Seoul on December 12, 1979, following the assassination of President Park. Despite the movie surpassing 7.55 million cumulative viewers, the decision to promote theater screenings as part of school trips has triggered protests.
The film’s popularity has also brought attention to its characters, such as General Lee Tae Sin (played by Jung Woo Sung) and Captain Kim Oh Rang (played by Jung Hae In), created based on real soldiers who faced the conflict in 1979.
As the movie gains momentum, some elementary and middle schools faced backlash as they attempted to organize field trips to theaters for students to watch 12.12: The Day. One Seoul elementary school officially canceled its plans for a theater screening on December 7th following criticism from right-wing YouTubers and others. The protests led to concerns about potential violations of academic and learning rights.
In another incident, a far-right group visited a middle school to oppose these theater field trips, causing anxiety among teachers and students about potential infringements on academic and learning rights.
Upon learning about the protests, online users expressed worries and criticism, stating opinions like “Movies should be seen as movies,” “Opposing movie screenings for any reason seems dangerous,” and “The fact that there are protests against 12.12: The Day theater trip is both alarming and concerning.”