Title: Resisting Militarization: The Making of the Film “Village vs. Empire”
Author: Mark J Kaplan, Grey Matter Media
Voices from the South E-Newsletter: September 2016
Jeju Island, off the coast of South Korea, is also known as Stone Island, Peace Island, and Women’s Island. It is home to no less than seven world heritage sites. But it is a paradise with dark side. Here on this tiny ecologically unique island, a village is confronting an empire. In Gangjeong village, on the southern tip the island, the U.S. and the South Korean navies have been building a huge naval base as part of a geopolitical strategy to ring-fence China. They are thus thrusting the islanders in the crosshairs of future conflict.
In this month’s “Voices from the South,” Emmy-award winning South African film director Mark J. Kaplan (Grey Matter Media) speaks with Karibu about his new documentary, Village vs. Empire, which sheds light on Jeju and the daily non-violent resistance efforts against the military base. He talks about his motivation in making the film, the moral imagination of the villagers who are resisting the base, and the seemingly immovable forces they face. The film had its first private screening in Cape Town, South Africa in September 2016.