Swing Kids Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Jared Grimes, Doh Kyung-Soo, Park Hye-Su
  • Director: Kang Hyoung-Chul
  • Disc Format: Dolby, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: 
     Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: June 18, 2019
  • Run Time: 133 minutes

   When I heard the title of the 2018 South Korean musical, Swing Kids, my first thoughts were of the 1993 American film with the same name. Despite both being backstage musicals set during wartime, I assumed that similarities would end there and the re-used title was merely a coincidence rather than a reference. Though it may be true that the filmmaker did not directly intend to make a connection between the two films, the similarities are also impossible to ignore. Swing Kids (’93) is a film about German youths attempting to grow up and enjoy ordinary lives appreciating swing music during an era of the Nazi regime and war that was anything but ordinary. Similarly, Swing Time (2018) is about a group of people finding simple pleasures in dance during wartime. Even more remarkably, while Swing Kids (’93) is an American film with German protagonists, Swing Kids (2018) is a South Korean film with North Korean characters as the primary focus. Most importantly, both films (along with the French Joyeux Noel) celebrate the empathetic powers of music and artistic expression during wartime, specifically considering those on the opposite side from the country in which the film is made.