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The Way Back Home: an ordeal of an ordinary woman imprisoned for two years

By Park Chae-rin | 기사입력 2022/04/15 [18:28]

The Way Back Home: an ordeal of an ordinary woman imprisoned for two years

By Park Chae-rin | 입력 : 2022/04/15 [18:28]


The Way Back Home directed by Bang Eun-jin is a movie based on a true story about an ordinary Korean housewife, Ms. Jang Mi-Jeong. Jang was caught as a drug carrier at the Orly International Airport in France on October 30th, 2004 and had undergone hardships and adversity in prison for two years.


Jeong-Yeon (Jeon Do-Yeon), is an ordinary housewife who has a beloved husband Jong-bae (Go Soo), and a daughter. Jong-bae is also an ordinary husband, who thinks his beloved wife Jeong-Yeon and daughter are everything in the world to him. They lose their house and hard-earned store due to the betrayal of Jong-bae’s friend. They are in an abject situation in which they have to do whatever they can to earn their living. At that time, a friend of Jongbae tells Jeong-yeon to do the work of transporting the gemstones from Guyana to France. He tells her that she will make a big fortune. 

 

She, who thinks she has to earn money for the family. accepts his suggestion and takes the flight. However, the moment her passport is stamped on the day when she arrives at the Orly International Airport in France, she is arrested as a drug offender. The gemstones turn out to be drugs. In a matter of seconds, she becomes a drug carrier.
She is taken to the Martinique Prison, which is located on a remote French island on the other side of the globe, 22 hours by plane from Korea and 12,400km across the Atlantic Ocean. That is a place she has never been and there her words will be silenced. From then, the heartbreaking and complicated story of Jang Mi-Jeong or Jeong-yeon is revealed in the movie.

 

Jeong-yeon has to go through the 2 year-long imprisonment, just waiting to be freed, without her government’s sincere efforts or interests. 

 

The story centers around the wife and the husband’s effort to change her situation. Jong-bae makes what little effort he can do to no avail. In the meantime, the movie shows how incompetent and indifferent the staff of the embassy are from the beginning to the end. Luckily, with the help of Jong-bae’s friends and a broadcasting company, she gets a chance of being free. At last, after many twists and turns, Jeong-Yeon is convicted to a one-year imprisonment at the end of the movie. However, it has no meaning. Two years have already passed since she was in prison. 

 

Director Bang Jin said, “In fact, events more movie-like than any actual movie occur in our real life. From the first time I came across the woman’s story in a news article I was constantly curious about why in the world she was imprisoned in France.” She said that was why she decided to film the incident. (Jeon Do-Yeon, who played Jeong-Yeon, also said, “The first time I read the scenario, I was curious and rather heartbroken about the story of an ordinary woman who was in prison for such a long time without knowing the exact reason.”)

 

77th Edition of The Monday Times (April 11, 2022)

 

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