There was no room in the theater to even set down a foot. It was an opening day of the movie Anarchist from Colony, which depicted the lives of Korean independent activist Park Yeol, who plotted a bomb attack on the wedding of Japanese crown prince, and his wife Kaneko Fumiko.
All tickets for four runs (98 tickets per run) on that day were sold out. “The space is small. Pay attention to your safety,” the theater announced. The movie will be screened in 20 movie theaters in Japan in various cities including Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Niigata.
It is unusual that a Korean film about an anti-Japan activist to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1919 movement is released in Japan. “I read the script of the movie last year,” said the head of film distributor Uzumasa. "I felt like I discovered Kaneko Fumiko and Park Yeol. It made my heart pound."
There were some troubles in the process of releasing the movie. He was not sure whether there would be theaters that would screen a film about a Korean independence activist, and there were some concerns about attacks of extreme rightists. “I thought the answer to those concerns was to release the film in Japan,” said Kobayashi. “Japan was a colonizer and Korea was a colony. We need to face the differences in each other’s history.”
The audience said Japan needed to reflect on the past. “Japan needs to acknowledge the history of the two countries and establish new relations with Korea,” said Ikemoto Eiko (70) who came to watch the film.
Japanese actors who appeared on the stage had a similar view. “Abe’s government is denying the massacre after the great Kanto earthquake, but it is a true story. I hope more people would face the historical truth,” said Masayuki Sato who played a high-ranking Japanese official.
Some extreme rightists held a protest outside the theater. They threatened the audience holding the Japanese flag, and shouted with a loud speaker, “Park Yeol is a bomb terrorist.” Some asked to stop screening the anti-Japan fantasy film.