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A South Korean commando, leaded by a woman commander, penetrates into Cheolwon, an area occupied by North Korean army. With the help from Sook-kyoung, the soldiers blow up a powder magazine, block the enemy\'s supply route and liberate a concentration camp to rescue prisoners of war.
Director KIM Muk’s Fighting Lions, delicately blends in the subject matter of war and spy. A commando named Kim, the main male character, barely escapes death from an enemy attack and is rescued by a commando unit during the peak of Korean War. Surprisingly, the commander of the unit is a woman. This in itself merits attention when you think that woman characters usually played very small supporting roles or hapless heroines in war movies in the past and still do in the present. However, this film goes beyond a simple gender switch and portrays an attractive character. Up until this film, many woman characters had been cast in the roles of a devoted mother, an unseemly ‘manly woman’, or an asexual character who is neither a man nor a woman, but the commander in this film infuses a surprising degree of grace in a cruel war movie with her great ability as well as stern but gentle charisma. But she is by no means a sterile and artificial persona. She forms a delicate love triangle with the commando, whom she saved, and Sook-kyung, a villager, and possesses mysteriousness that cannot easily be explained. It is regretful that there aren’t many successors of such commander in Korean films. (KIM Bo-nyun)
KIM MukKIM Muk
Born in 1928 in Pyongyang, Pyongannam-do. He made his directorial debut with Flowing Star (1958). During the next sixteen years, he made over forty war films, including the anticommunist action film I Accuse (1959), War and Love (1962) and Warning against The North Korean Regime (1965). A bloody fight (1960), The Angry Apple (1963), and I Don\'t Want to Be Forgiven (1964) are among his major works. He passed away in March 1990 at the age of 62.