Monday, December 3, 2012

Response to "Christmas in August" movie

Reflection on the Life and Death

By: Natalina (Sogang University)
Everyone will die eventually someday. Every single one of us lives with knowledge of death. However, although we know that everyone dies eventually, still, we all try really hard to live. Why do we do this? It is a simple question, and there are many different answers from every single of us. In fact, we tried work hard to live for many reasons, even almost all of us hope to live to be 100 years old before die and see the world at a different aspect hopefully for the best, while some people hate the difficult life and they try to commit suicide. All of us have the fear of the death. Yes, everyone does, we have to face it one day. The more we try hard to live our lives, the more we face the fear of death, because we enjoying all the bad and good things, the pain and happiness of live, and we don’t want to leave, specially the people who we meet in our lives. That is why for us as a human being, we try to create memories as much as we could before the death comes and knocks our door. Besides, death also gives us our absolute reasons for leaving. Why? Because it provides us with the structure of how we appreciate and how we guide our lives.

Korean movie: Christmas in August
It is simply talking about a guy who prepares for his death 
due to an incurable disease

There are so many ways people can choose to learn about the death and dying issues itself, although we know about it since we were born. For example: learning it from the experience, hearing from the people around, joining special activity which is related to study about death and dying, watching movies and dramas, searching from the Internet, studying at school, and so on. 

Last week I watched one of the Korean movies entitled ‘Christmas in August’. This movie was introduced by my Religion and Death professor. I am one of Korean movies and dramas fever, and I was waiting for so long for some movies to be watched, and I am so thankful that I found this thoughtful movie. I found more knowledge about how important to live this life. The movie taught me about life and death, and how people can deal with lives in front of death. This movie is simply about a man who prepares for his death due to an incurable disease, and at the same time, cherishing his love in his heart. It was amazingly hear shaking, and showed very sad but warm view toward life in Korea. Although it was only about 97 minutes long, but managed to say just everything about life and death. As we all know, there are thousands ways people die each day. People might die because of the accident, or because they got killed, or they committed suicide, or because of disease that failed be cured by the medical people, and so on. Even though the movie I mentioned takes only for short time, I learnt how the main character Jong-Won faces the death of illness. How he deals with the disease that kills him slowly. Yes, I found that disease that will kill the body, but disease has no power to kill someone’s spirit. 

Life is a strange, yet it is a difficult journey. We're going to have some good and some tough times throughout life, but you cannot have one without the other. You have to observe one thing that you know, that you will die one fine day. Even though you know this open secret, you would not commit suicide. Similarly all other are behaving. Instead of committing suicide they want to live and they want to prove themselves. For instance, someone may want to live with great values, someone may want to create history, and someone may want to waste their time until their end.

Feeling grief and loss
A best friend of mine who lost her dad when she was little
Sometimes she felt so lonely without her dad

Each day, our lives should become very meaningful after we have acceptable the fact that we are not live in this beautiful world forever. Furthermore, we have to live file to its fullest, as if it were our last.

From the movie, while I watched it, I felt like it gave me the point that our body could well be described as our own worst enemies, capable of circumventing the greatest aspirations through earthly physical brittleness, cutting short great lives prematurely. Death gives us our absolute reason for living. It provides us with the structure if how we appreciate and how we guide our lives. It should help us prioritize our activities and the goal that we intend to death was relatively easy and simple. 

I have learned from my Religion and Death class about the grief matters. As we all know that emotional is very important in case of death and dying issue. We all might experience the grief, so do I. As we know, grief is not only felt by people who are going to die, but also felt by survivors. Sometimes grief is not constant, it is not stable. If you ever rode the roller coaster or scary movie, you will know that feeling of grief is pretty the same. Feeling shock, fear, and intense of sad. 

As what I acquired from the movie ‘Christmas in August’, Jong-Won knew that he was going to die soon. He was the one who prepared his death calmly and quietly from summer to winter. He recollected his memory at playground. He looked old photos in a box which held his precious memories. He kept the photo of his first love, Jung-Soon and the photo and the letter of Darim in the box as well. He didn't blame anyone about his death. He was thoughtful enough to consider about people he was going to left. He wrote the manual in details for his dad how to develop the photos. He didn't tell either Jung-Soon or Darim that he was going to die soon. He tried not to worry his sister. He also tried his best to take best photo for an old woman since he sympathized with her. This is the best example of how a person who meets his or her final stage of life leave gift for survivors, which means, the person reduces survivor’s feeling of grief when he or she dies. 

However, on the other hand, he was afraid. It was not easy for him to accept it. He was too drunk so that he was not able to remember what happened at the police station at that night before. He also sobbed in his blanket. To him, Darim was "Christmas." This is so sweet. He thinks so, because Darim made him smile until the last moment. Without her, he might not able to smile when he took his photo for the funeral. 

I am not afraid of death, but if I imagine that I was in Jong-Won place, that I only had a few days, months or year to leave my life, I guess I would not fear about it, but I might be angry, or sad, or any of a thousand different emotions that I couldn't possibly describe. I don’t know if there is something after death. But, I would like to feel there is. Although there is not, I believe that is not something I would fear, because death is natural and as long as we meant something to someone, that they held us dear in their hearts for a time, and then I believe we live forever. To be honest, what I am afraid of the way how I will die. Also, what I am afraid the most is leaving people behind, or maybe leaving things unfinished. That to me is the scariest possibility of all. Overall, this movie motivates me so much to reflect my own life, look back on my life and see if I have wasted it, and think about what I am going to do if I knew I only have several years to live.

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