Judith Hicks wrote this for the local newspaper in Colorado. I had to share it with you.
Dear Editor: “The Ghosts of Jeju” by independent filmmaker Regis Tremblay of Maine, may be the most important documentary film available to Americans today. Recently released, it’s already being shown around the world, and is sure to heavily impact the way people far and wide view not only American military activity, but all war. Tremblay has said, “Hardly anyone in America is aware of the story I tell in The Ghosts of Jeju…” I’ve followed Jeju’s plight for about two years via reports from Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, and just watched this compelling film for the fourth time this week- very unusual for me! Its production is superb, its effect heart rending. Jeju Island is a tiny Korean “crown jewel” only twenty miles by 45 miles, located sixty miles south of the mainland. Gangjeong Village on Jeju’s southern shore, has been populated for five hundred years by peaceful indigenous farmers, fishermen, and their families. Two rivers of unpolluted, pure drinkable water flow through Gangjeong. At the seashore lies (or did) a large mass of black volcanic rock named Gureombi which villagers believe to be alive, part of their own hearts and souls, and deeply revered. Surrounding waters are home to the largest coral reefs of their kind in the world,with gorgeous, bright, vari-colored corals; and several other rare forms of marine life, including bottlenose dolphin. So rare an area on planet earth, it has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Please note: UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, established in 1946 to “advance mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples”. Sadly, against the villagers’ will, and contrary to UNESCO principles, all the biggest problematic planetary issues have converged upon this tiny, historically peaceful island, making it a symbol reflecting not its name of “Island of Peace”, but everything the world’s peace movement is challenging: violation of human rights, ecological devastation, forceful domination- including impending forced relocation of indigenous people. The plan is to relocate the villagers, and replace them with housing for 8,000 military personnel (and predictably, strip malls, brothels and bars). Constant, prolonged protest (nearly six years) by villagers, mainland Koreans, and countless activists from around the world, these peaceful villagers now experience depression, often physical injuries from confrontations wih “authorities”, sometimes even lengthy jail time. Still, every evening they persist in joyous dance to counteract depression and to keep their spirits high.. Salida Regional Library now owns a DVD copy of The Ghosts of Jeju. I cannot recommend this film highly enough. Check it out, view it with friends and neighbors, as it’s certain to evoke deep feelings and heartfelt conversation. Also, see www.savejejunow.org Order online-www.theghostsofjeju.com or send US $23 to Regis Tremblay 209 River Rd., Woolwich, ME 04579 If you think Jeju is too far away to matter to you personally, see for yourself what’s happening. There’s much more to this story- don’t miss it! Sincerely, Judith E. Hicks
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