Film examines child abuse case
Life is often stranger than fiction, and both director Hwang Dong-hyeok and actor Gong Yoo were shocked to discover that Gong Ji-young’s bestselling online novel about child sex abuse was based on a true story.
The “Coffee Prince” actor, who read a hard copy of the book while serving in the military, proactively sought a way to turn “Dogani” into a film. Hwang on the other hand greatly hesitated about adapting the 2000-2004 case in which the teachers and principal sexually abused students at a Gwangju school for the hearing impaired.
During a press meeting Monday in Seoul, the director said he deliberated for about a month whether or not he should helm the upcoming film, “The Crucible.”
“I hesitated because it was based on a true story,” said Hwang, who made a critically acclaimed debut with “My Father,” which is based on a true story of a Korean adoptee. “Ironically, though, I decided to go through with it because it dealt with a true incident. It had to be told.”
Hwang explained that he was moved by a line from a news article that the novelist quotes in the book’s epilogue — how when it was announced in sign language that the sexual offenders would stop short of receiving probation and 10-month prison sentences, muffled cries of the hearing impaired children filled the entire court room.