The Power and Influence That the United States has Over South Korea Demonstrated in the Film ‘The Host.’

Trailer for The Host (2006).

Given the military history between the United States and South Korea, the film: The Host shows the power and influence that the US has over Korea; even on such outrageous examples/matters as a man-eating monster on the loose. A few prime examples from the film will support the thesis above.

The Host was a very interesting film to say the least. While it had a few aspects of a Hollywood ‘monster’ film, the influence of Korean culture and mindset were very evident. Seeing as it was my first Korean film that incorporated a fictitious monster, I would have to give the film a decent rating and applaud the director (Jung Ho-Bong) for not going too far over the top.

Although I was unable to find the specific scene that I wanted through Youtube, the film is available on Netflix and I can discuss my reactions and opinions nevertheless. The first scene in The Host was set in a laboratory somewhere in South Korea. It is all in English which makes the scene that much more important. In this scene we see an American scientist instruct his Korean counterpart to discard at least 50 bottles of Formaldehyde into the drain; even after the fact that the Korean scientist said that this was against protocol. This is the first glimpse of “power” that the United States has over Korea.

After the monster attacked, the United States government steps in, as one of their military men was killed from a ‘virus’ carried by the monster. The Korean government was instructed to quarantine all individuals who came in contact with the monster, which places our main character (Park Gang-Doo played by Kang-Ho Song) and his family in quarantine. As more of the film passes, Gang-Doo is set to have surgery to extract the ‘virus’ from his brain, and the plot takes a dramatic turn.

The most influential scene and series of events, in regards to US-Korean relations comes towards the middle of the film; where Gang-Doo finds out that there is no actual virus. He manages to escape, but the fact that US government would have enough power to have the Korean government knowingly lie to their people about a virus that doesn’t exist is mind blowing. However, it makes me wonder how much of this ‘farfetched’ film is really that farfetched.

The United States government is known for trying to keep strong relationships with foreign nations, and sometimes they involve themselves too much in the issues that these nations are facing. While the US’s intentions and plans may be good ones, the unnecessary influence and, for lack of a better term, nosiness sometimes backfires on own government and our people. While the events that take place in The Host are fictional, I wonder if something like this were to actually occur, if the events wouldn’t be too far off from reality.

To conclude, the film The Host shows a United States dominate relationship with South Korea, and although it was just a film, it keeps me wondering if there were to be a ‘virus’ outbreak in Korea, just how far off The Host would be.

Joon-Ho, Bong dir. The Host. Showbox, 2006. Film.

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The Power and Influence That the United States has Over South Korea Demonstrated in the Film ‘The Host.’ by Taylor Scott is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.v

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