Silenced (2011) or in Korean titled Do-ga-ni is a South Korean film released in September 2011, directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk. This film is an adaptation of Gong Ji-young's novel The Crucible, which is written based on the true story of sexual harassment experienced by students special schools with disabilities in South Korea.
Silenced 2011 starred by Gong Yoo and Jung Yu-mi, if you have seen Train To Busan (2016), Kim Ji-young Born 1982 (2019), Wonderland (2020) then this couple will be no stranger to extraordinary acting quality. This film is quite interesting to see, the reality that happens around us in real life, how difficult it is to fight for the law for the middle and lower class, how law is so easy to buy, and as in films about sexual harassment that occurred in South Korea as depicted in the film HOPE, the perpetrator only received a very light punishment which was not comparable to the psychological and physical trauma that the victim was unable to experience. This also happens in the Silenced film, the perpetrator is only given a 6 month punishment. It hurts that even we as spectators are able to curse the perpetrator of this sexual harassment. This film received a rating of 8.1 out of 10 points on IMDb.
Gong Yoo plays as Kang In-ho, a new teacher who transfers from Seoul at Gwangju Inhwa School, a special school for disabilities in the Gwangju area, South Korea. Since his first arrival, Kang In-ho has realized that there is something strange about school, from him having to pay a certain amount of money as a pretext for donations to be able to teach there, as well as the suspicious signs of his students who are deaf and mute which seem to cover up something. Until finally he was the first to realize that there was a case of sexual harassment against students committed by the school authorities.
The students include Kim Yeon-doo, Jin Yoo-ri, and Jeon Min-soo. After witnessing several suspicious incidents of Min-soo being tortured and beaten endlessly by his teacher Mr.Park, Yoo-ri who was tortured by being drowned in a washing machine, and strange screaming sounds from the bathroom when Yoo-ri was raped by the principal. Kang In-ho began to realize that these students had experienced sexual harassment and abuse.
On the other hand, Jung Yu-mi plays as Seo Yoo Jin, who is an employee at the Mujin Human Rights Center. Seo Yoo Jin was the one who helped Kang In-ho fight for the human rights of students who were victims of this abuse and reported it as a form of violation of children's rights. At first the three students did not want to say the incident because they were afraid something would happen to them. Kang In-ho and Seo Yoo-jin assured them that everything would be all right, they finally wanted to have a say about everything that happened to them. How Min-soo and his younger brother were sodomized by the school teacher Mr. Park until his younger brother killed himself by crashing into a passing train, Yoo-ri and Yeon-doo were raped many times by the principal and his twin brother.
The law enforcement process continued, initially the community did not believe in all of these incidents, because the principal was a respectable figure in society and also a devout congregation in a Catholic church so that it broke the community to believe that respectable people were capable of doing this unethical thing. In the film it is also told that the three students had escaped from the school dormitory and reported to the local police, but the police did not believe it and it was difficult to prove it because their condition was deaf and mute so that the police finally returned them to the dormitory, the school bribed the police to not follow up on the case.
Silenced film is a picture of how the law runs above power, not only the police, law enforcers in the prosecutor's office, even lawyers who initially fought for the rights of victims eventually defected and submitted to the perpetrators when money was playing. The sad reality of life, law enforcement supported by dirty hands. They cover their eyes and ears with the suffering of the victims just to earn money. The honor or status of a person is not a guarantee that the person will not commit a crime as some people like in this film deny.
Many things we can learn from this film Silenced, that sexual harassment does not only affect women, even men are also vulnerable to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment also does not occur because the clothing model is worn, even the victim in sexual harassment wears normal clothes. What needs to be emphasized is that we are more aware that crimes of sexual harassment are vulnerable to weak victims, such as deaf and mute victim. The perpetrator assumed that victims like this would find it difficult to complain about the crime. In the case of sexual harassment crimes it can be argued that the fault lies not with the victim but the perpetrator who is at fault regardless of the reason.