‘The Birth of Korea’ Director Criticizes the Box Office Success of ‘Exhuma’ Claiming that It’s “Flooded by Leftists”

exhuma movie
exhuma movie
Credit: SBS

The director of the documentary film The Birth of Korea, Kim Deug Young, took to social media yesterday with a controversial statement. He claimed “leftists were flocking” to the newly released thriller Exhuma, suggesting it was an attempt to undermine his film’s message.

Exhuma opened on February 22nd and quickly gained traction, surpassing 2 million viewers within four days. This pushed The Birth of Korea from second to third place at the box office.

>> ‘Exhuma’ Makes Record-breaking Debut, Topping Box Office All Week

Kim criticized Exhuma, accusing it of promoting anti-Japanese sentiment by blending traditional Korean practices like geomancy and shamanism with the narrative of the Japanese occupation. He further connected this to past comments by philosopher Kim Yong Ok, who advocated for exhuming former president Rhee Syng Man’s remains. “That’s why the left is so enthusiastic about Exhuma,” Kim asserted.

Kim also mentioned the upcoming release of the Hollywood film Dune 2 starring Timothée Chalamet. “If viewers choose Exhuma nand Dune 2, the biggest blow will be the decline in theaters and screens for The Birth of Korea,” he stated.

Appealing for support, Kim emphasized unity: “The only way to overcome this is together. I urge companies, social organizations, and Christian churches with good intentions to support my film.” He added, “Please watch my film so it can surpass the viewership recorded by ‘Our President,’ which attracted 1.85 million viewers.”

Netizens expressed skepticism about Kim Deok Young’s claim that “leftists are flocking to see Exhuma,” with many arguing that the film’s themes align more closely with conservative or nationalist ideologies.

“I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it doesn’t seem like a leftist movie. If I had to categorize it, I would say it’s closer to a nationalist movie. If that’s the case, then it must be a conservative movie. But in Korea, conservatives tend to prefer Japan over their own country, so it’s kind of ironic that a nationalist movie would be considered a leftist movie.

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