When I read the synopsis of the movie, I immediately decided to sign up so I could watch this film as I saw this whole thing happened way back in the winter of early 2009.
Two Doors is a documentary that tells of the events on the tragic days of the Yongsan fire, which killed six people: five evictees and one police SWAT member. The protesters demanded higher compensation for their relocation as their stores and homes in this area were to be demolished for a planned redevelopment. From narrations of witnesses, testimonies of police officers and videos of the police action, the film educated me of what actually happened.
During the Q&A with the two directors, Miss Il-Rhan Kim and Miss Ji-You Hong, I told them I worked at the building in the neighborhood and saw for myself the standoff on the morning of January 19, 2009, a Monday. Little did I know that within 24 hours of that standoff, six would lose their lives and that this whole tragedy would turn into a huge issue. And most of Hangang-no, the main street, would be full of police buses and was always clogged with traffic everyday, especially after the fire while the case was being heard in the Korean courts.
This tragedy has a human face for me because my colleagues and I used to patronize the restaurants in the area during lunch and dinner. For all I know, I may have even seen those five evictees while these restaurants and shops in this area were still operating.
I could not even believe that the building, where the protesters holed themselves up and on whose rooftop they built a lookout, was the building of my favorite restaurant in the neighborhood, Nolboo Buddae-jiggae! As I watched a small fire on one of the buildings from my 21st floor office window on the morning of January 19, 2009, I could just exclaim to myself in disbelief!
The film narrates that this case had already reached and was decided by the Supreme Court, which concluded that the protesters were responsible for the death of the policeman.
I asked the directors whether the title, Two Doors, has a deeper meaning for them because the documentary mentions that the lookout built by the protesters had two doors. While they said, the title meant 'two choices' for them, others thought it meant 'truth and lies'. As to why is that, you have to watch the film.
Three years after that tragedy, the whole landscape of the neighborhood has changed. But even then, lives were lost and the lives of the families involved have been changed forever.
After the screening, I asked one of the directors whether the film is available on DVD. She said not yet, but hopefully, someday it will be, as it will serve as a reminder for me of what happened that tragic day in what is now a memorable winter for me of my life in Korea.
P.S. Before the screening, my friend James and I rushed to Garuso-gil to grab a quick dinner, and we stumbled upon Bibigo, a good restaurant where you can choose the ingredients for your bibimbap with your own choice of meat or chicken, kind of rice and the sauce! A nouvelle idea!
I know how to make Jeonju bibimbap and I usually order bulgogi bibimap on occasions, but tonight, I had chicken teriyaki and black rice for my bibimbap! With sesame sauce! Thanks to James for dinner! I will definitely look out for this Bibigo place when I return to Garuso-gil some other time.