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Korean audiences not fond of Bond

05-Dec-2002 • Die Another Day

Yahoo News are reporting that Bond`s latest adventure "Die Another Day" is not going down well in Korea, even though it is still to open:

Due to debut in Korea at the end of the month, the 20th official Bond feature is the target of fierce criticism among young Koreans who claim the picture is culturally ignorant and degrading to Korea as a whole.

The country is the 10th biggest foreign box office territory for U.S. pictures.

Among specific problems is the picture`s portrayal of North Korea (news - web sites) as "an axis of evil," the final scene in which Bond makes love to a woman in a Buddhist Temple (a taboo of the worst kind here) and outdated scenes like a South Korean walking a cow in a farming landscape (a perceived insult to Korea`s modern, industrial image).

"Die Another Day" features inter-Korean confrontations, starring Korean-American actor Rick Yune (news) as a ruthless character who goes to great lengths to achieve Korean reunification.

The film was criticized by Koreans from the get-go.

The Korea Federation of University Student Councils (Hanchongnyon) issued a statement at the end of last year, calling for production to be canceled.

Leading Korean actor Cha In-pyo refused an offer earlier this year to play a North Korean colonel in the movie. Now he is considered a hero among the young.

Accordingly, actor Yune was not very well received when he visited Seoul Monday to promote the film. He spent much time at the press conference answering questions about the anti-U.S. feeling in Korea and its potential effects on the movie. A local TV show bumped him from its lineup.

Fueling the hostile mood against America is the recent acquittal of two U.S. soldiers who killed two Korean middle school girls while driving under the influence of alcohol.

"There are some misunderstandings of the movie. The enemy described in the movie is extreme nationalists, not North Korea," a 20th Century Fox Korea statement said, promising an on-schedule release and an extensive marketing campaign. Fox is handling overseas distribution for MGM.

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