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  • The life of an ordinary 70-year old woman who's traveled a rough road growing up in the tranquil city of Suncheon in Korea's South Jeollanam-do province. the documentary "Splendid But Sad Days" invites audiences to her story as a wife‚ a mother and a fisherwoman who's devoted her whole life to support her family. This independent film had its premiere on the silver screen in Seoul on Tuesday‚ for eager audience members who've been waiting for their chance to see the film. The 64-minute documentary has been highly praised by international audiences throughout the film festival circuit‚ including the Busan International Film Festival‚ Focus Coree of France and the Montreal World Film Festival. "International audiences commented on the film's ability to capture the unfiltered life of a woman who gave up everything for her family. It also shows aspects of Korea's traditional culture I'm glad the film was able present this side of Korea." Cinemagoers are saying that independent films like this have more of an effect on them compared to commercial hits. "I think the film will linger in my mind for days. It made me want to search for more independent films that can touch my emotions like this." While the local documentary scene is small‚ the genre is growing. The independent film "Old Partner" released in 2008 posted ticket sales of over 2.9 million. "Splendid But Sad Days" will be shown in selected theaters‚ starting in Suncheon from Thursday. Shin Se-min‚ Arirang News. Reporter : ashin@arirang.co.kr

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  • The Taliban's brutal actions are causing concerns among members of the Muslim community in Korea. Going about their business as usual‚ many are stressing the extremism pursued by the Taliban is a far cry from the teachings of Islam. Kim Duyeon has reaction from Korea's Muslim community. News about the Taliban's kidnappings and killings have sent shockwaves through the Muslim community here in Korea. But the distance has somewhat dulled the emotional gravity of the incident‚ and business continues as usual for store and restaurant owners who migrated here from the Middle East. Khaled Al Shaer came to Korea from Jordan to help his brother run an authentic kebab store. He's happily married to a Korean wife and says business is good. He's also among the many Muslim shop owners who refused to speak about the Afghan incident on camera citing the sensitivity of the matter and the possible impact on their business. ''It's not my business. My business is talking about my business‚ not about these people and what they are doing.'' Off camera‚ it's a different story. Muslim workers have voiced their sadness‚ even rage‚ and hoped for the hostages' speedy release. ''The Muslim community here is also concerned that the Taliban's acts will trigger unwanted stereotypes and send out the wrong message about Muslims and their faith.'' ''I would say‚ it is not in Islam. We don't think the Muslims are doing this. The Muslim‚ Islam is a religion of peace and they should not do such things. And we condemn‚ all Muslim condemn‚ everybody condemn this type of action.'' ''I think kidnapping of hostages of Koreans is about politics. But we think feel sad about this matter. We don't want to happen about this matter‚ you know? Not so good for Muslim in the world‚ you know?'' Some Muslims here say they've already received a few threats from a few Koreans. But many say‚ that's nothing new‚ because they've had to deal with misperceptions since 9-11. Kim Duyeon‚ Arirang News. Reporter : borabora@arirang.co.kr

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