Gong Yoo as Kang In Ho in SILENCED, a film by Hwang Dong-hyeok. Picture courtesy CJ Entertainment. All rights reserved.


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Silenced (2011)

Also Known As: Crucible, Dogani

Opened: 10/14/2011 Limited

CGV Cinemas10/14/2011 - 11/17/201135 days
Limited/Nation...11/04/2011 - 11/10/20117 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home

Genre: South Korean Drama (In Korean w/English subtitles)

Rated: Unrated


This film is based on the true account of what took place at a school for the hearing impaired in South Korea. In 2000, a principal and some faculty members had begun to sexually molest and abuse several hearing impaired students at their school for close to 4 consecutive years. Though we may not want to accept it, it is time to face this horrible, inhumane truth.

Kang In-Ho (Gong Yoo) is a newly appointed teacher at a school for the hearing-impaired in Mujin city. On his first day, In-Ho meets the school's principal and director of administration; they are identical twins. Facing various financial pressures, he pays his way into a job at the school by bribing the principal and his twin brother.

While teaching the hearing-impaired students, In-Ho feels a strange presence coming from the kids as they seem to be distraught and paranoid in behavior. Slowly, In-Ho begins to uncover the truth behind this strange behavior by finding out that the kids have been constantly abused and mistreated by some of the faculty members. In-Ho reaches out to Yoo-Jin to help investigate---a lady from the human rights center who he had met before beginning work. Soon, In-Ho and Yoo- Jin discover unfathomable actions committed by the principal of the school as well as a few other members of the faculty. Both In-Ho and Yoo-Jin begin the fight in exposing the horrible crimes against the children and take matters to court. Meanwhile, In-Ho feels his own pressures to stay silent as his job is hanging by a thin thread of bribery.

About the Film

In 2011, a forgotten case rises to the surface in SILENCED

For about 4 years starting from the year 2000, shocking events took place at a school for the hearing impaired in Gwangju, South Korea. The principal, some staff, and teachers habitually molested some of the hearing impaired children at the school and the safety of the kids was completely neglected by the surrounding community. What's even more shocking is the fact that the perpetrators did not receive statutory punishment and some are still working at the school today. With just a slap on the wrist from the legal world and no interest from the press, this case was soon forgotten. The victims have been battling a lonely fight till this day. In the past, films like MEMORIES OF MURDER, CHILDREN, and VOICE OF A MURDERER, which were based on shocking true stories, went beyond just being a film and had great rippling effects on the Korean society. Since the victims of SILENCED are children who cannot hear or speak, it calls for even more social attention than any other film in the past. Revealing the truth of children who were being assaulted and oppressed, SILENCED has risen as the biggest issue of 2011 in South Korea.

Cinematizing "Dogani", a novel by Korea's representative author, Gong Jee-young

Gong Jee-young is a well-loved, representative author in Korea for her novels such as 'Mackerel', 'Bong-soon's Sister', and 'Our Happy Times'. But with her 2009 released novel, 'Dogani', South Korea has been turned upside down. The novel deals with the true accounts of sexual molestation that took place at an actual school for the hearing impaired in Gwangju. It was an online series for 6 months from November 2008 to May 2009 on the internet portal site, Daum and had a phenomenal record of over 16 million viewer hits. Author Gong Jee-young claimed she was struck by a line from a newspaper article that led to the start of her on-line series: "The moment the light sentence of being discharged on probation was interpreted through sign language, the court was filled with incomprehensible cries from the hearing impaired." This unbelievable case inspired Gong to drop the novel she was working on and bury herself into writing 'Dogani'. Many online readers who felt the shocking pain when reading 'Dogani', pushed for the exposure of this forgotten case to the whole country. With the readers' support, the official novel was published in 2009 and came to be cinematized for the big screen in 2011.

Just as Gong claimed 'The truth cannot go to the dogs', the film SILENCED hopes to expose the terrible truth and will definitely move the hearts of everyone who watches the film.

GONG Yoo starts off DOGANI

GONG Yoo is the representative 'sweet guy' of South Korea. In the TV drama series, COFFEE PRINCE and films like FINDING MR. DESTINY, GONG was known for his gentle, romantic characteristics and melted the hearts of female fans across the country. In SILENCED, he transforms into an extremely dramatic and serious actor, falling out of his normal role as Korea's 'sweet guy.' GONG Yoo's character, 'KANG In-ho' is a very thoughtful and earnest art teacher who comforts the wounded children and tells the world about their hidden truth for them. In preparation for the film, GONG learned sign language two months prior to production and was said to have gotten completely enveloped by this particular character. Being extremely involved with developing the character with director HWANG Dong-hyuk, GONG perfected his role with more passion and dedication than ever before. His particular dedication to this film is due to the fact that he was actively invested in the making of the film.

During his military service, he received Gong Jee-young's novel, 'Dogani,' as a gift. He said he was very shocked and emotionally touched after finishing the book. He thought, "I can't believe something like this happened in our society. Why didn't I know about this?" After he was finished with his military service, GONG expressed passionate interest in turning this novel into a film by contacting the author. He believed that the film could be a powerful form of media that would expose the truth about these suffering children throughout the country. Due to his influential role in bringing the news out of the closet, SILENCED has created a social uprising that the victims of molestation and abuses have been yearning for their entire lives.

Real tears stained within SILENCED

The article describing the courtroom trial, which inspired author Gong Jee-young to begin her work on 'Dogani' held the same significance to director HWANG Dong-hyuk. The hearing impaired lashing out in anger when the perpetrators received light sentencing is something that struck Director HWANG when preparing to portray the hardships of the endless battle against the strong. While toiling with how to direct the particular courtroom scenes more realistically, director HWANG eventually decided to have real people who are hearing impaired act in the film. While recruiting actors for these courtroom scenes, they came across someone who had actually attended the same school in Gwangju years ago. Having been a part of the unbelievable case in actuality, filming the courtroom scenes for SILENCED brought back the emotional memories of those difficult times. When filming the particular scene of the perpetrators getting released on probation, the man was immersed with emotions of despair and frustration and had bursted into tears. His real emotions captured on camera are sure to reach out to viewers and leave a deep, resonating impression.