After five years, five people share their memories of April 16, 2014: a college student who was then a senior in high school, a cafe owner in Seochon, a middle school teacher in Incheon, a human rights activist, and a fish farmer in the seas near the site of the accident. Their memories of that day are not much different from ours—shock, anger, helplessness, and deep sorrow. Yellow Ribbon retraces the memories and trauma of the Sewol ferry disaster for the past five years.
Unlike most people who have grown insensitive to the memories of the tragedy over time, the five people in this film are transforming the grief-stricken memories of the tragedy into something they can share today. People say that we need to fight oblivion so as not to repeat history, but these five people say, “We’ve never tried to remember or recall the incident. But April 16 always comes around.” Director JU Hyunsook looks at the aftermath of the Sewol ferry tragedy and its impact on Korean society, while bitterly ruminating on Korean society before the incident—about the kind of government Koreans elected and the price they had to pay for their decision. Yellow Ribbon finds hope in the collective trauma that Koreans have experienced five years ago. (KANG So-won)