While in Gangjeong Village last September, I had the opportunity to interview over 20 villagers and activists who have been protesting the construction of that massive naval base in their tiny village to serve the needs of the U.S. “pivot to Asia” in order to check China.
As I am working hard to finish the feature-length documentary, Jeju: In the crosshairs of war, I’ve been reviewing hours of video, most of which will not be used. But, because all of it is of great value, I decided to create this series entitled, Gangjeong Village: Up Close and Personal to allow people to get to know these wonderful people on a personal level.
I hope that you are moved, as I was, by their perseverance against overwhelming force, their endurance, their peacefulness, and their joyful spirits.
First in the series is Fr. Mun Jeong Hyeon, the iconic 74 yr old priest who has been beaten, hospitalized and jailed for protesting the construction of the base. Fr. Mun is known as a “street father” because of his support for victims of human rights violations inflicted by state power. Ordained in 1966, he organized the Catholic Priests’ Association for Justice in 1974 and opposed the dictatorship when the military carried out extrajudicial killings.
Fr. Mun is a true man of peace and has been at the forefront of protecting human rights in Korea. I hope you enjoy the series and this visit with my friend, Fr. Mun.