I need to begin this post with a little rant. Who coined the title Hateful But Once Again?
It isn’t just about semantics. Try substituting “hateful” with any other adjective (like “batty” or “butyraceous”). The phrase is still ungrammatical and illogical. But once again what?
So I’m going to go with Again, My Love as my preferred name for this 2009 drama. Privately, though, I’m calling it The Lioness, the Itch and the Warthog. Don’t tell the folks at KBS.
The “lioness” in the drama is Han Myung-in (Choi Myung-gil).
One of my favorite courses in college was Literature of the Holocaust. Among the texts for the course was a thin paperback, Night (by Elie Wiesel). I devoured the book in one sitting and sat dazed for hours after that. All the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust in one little book written with such clarity and simplicity even a child could understand it.
When the first scenes of Eyes of Dawn unfolded, I thought immediately of Wiesel’s book. The women herded like cattle into the cattle car, their eyes wide with fear. Where were they going? To a concentration camp? I had to remind myself: “Hey, this isn’t Europe. This is China.”
Be prepared for a harrowing ride as you watch the drama. Be prepared for horrific scenes involving comfort women and human experiments. This is not your trendy drama, it is World War II. In the very first ten minutes of Episode 1 a woman is raped. Many more rapes will follow in just the first two episodes alone. A baby wailing on the ground is shot dead moments later. If you’re a Korean watching this, it is going to make you mad as hell. If you’re a Chinese or Japanese, you may experience all sorts of mixed emotions: rage, denial, guilt, indignation, shame… It’s very gripping stuff but highly disturbing.
[MAJOR SPOILERS FOR EPISODES 1-20 BEYOND THIS PAGE]