The Fortress

  • 139'
  • South Korea
  • 2017

For Westerners, 17th-century Korean politics may seem complicated and irrelevant, but The Fortress makes clear how a footnote in world history can be a welcome and exciting lesson for contemporary viewers. The lavish historical film is set against the beautiful wintry backdrop of historical Namhan fortress (now a UNESCO site), where the Joseon dynasty (Korean) King Injo and his court have taken refuge from an invading Qing (Manchu) army, led by General Ingguldai, but find themselves surrounded and increasingly cold and hungry.

Between the Minister of the Interior, who emphasises the king’s duty to protect the lives of his subjects regardless of humiliation, and the Minister of Rites, who maintains that they must fight to the death for the greater cause, the king must make a grave choice. If you know you are going to be defeated, what is the best way to lose? 

Director
Hwang Donghyuk
Country of production
South Korea
Production Year
2017
Festival Edition
IFFR 2018
Length
139'
Medium
DCP
Original title
Namhan Sanseong
Language
Korean
Producer
Kim Jiyeon
Production Company
Siren Pictures
Sales
CJ Entertainment
Screenplay
Hwang Donghyuk
Cinematography
Kim Jiyong
Editor
Nam Nayoung
Production Design
Chae Kyoungsun
Sound Design
Choi Taeyoung
Music
Sakamoto Ryuichi
Cast
Lee Byunghun, Kim Yoonseok, Park HaeIl, Soo Go