The pain. The pain. The pain. The endless pain. Youth of May took us back in 1980 to feel every blood, sweat and tears of the people who witnessed the Gwangju Uprising and left a tragic dent in the South Korean history.
The reality from the past was transformed into a fiction and hinted us what does it feel to fight for love and freedom—introducing us to different faces of battles. We were left with sadness created from deep affection and violence made out of greed. Whatever fight you decided to take a side, there’s one thing for sure—Youth of May wrenched our hearts that we wished we can hug those characters who have been in constant pain.
Here are the scenes from Youth of May that brought us endless tears while trying to hold our hearts’ health until the final episode.
The Broken Wings of Kim Myung Hee
She was strong. She was independent. She wanted to fly away despite having broken wings to escape from the “silent” life requested by her father. She was smart and wanted to live by doing what she thought was respectful for others without considering her own happiness—especially for her family and friends.
But when Hee Tae came in May of 1980, Myung Hee finally found how she could fix her broken wings. She decided to go against the flow of the wind and let her burden out to the people she made sacrifices for. Imagine how hard yet light Myung Hee felt after telling Soo Ryun that it’s unfair to took all the blame from their actions in school and to give up her love for Hee Tae to save a family business. Did you feel how painful yet healing it was for Myung Hee when she told her father that he ruined his daughter’s life?
Myung Hee was a silent fighter. She was always selfless.
That Burden of Hwang Hee Tae
His guilt came from his deep sense of responsibility. He kneeled down and followed his father like a caged pet to save someone from death. He considered that someone as a victim and treated himself like an assailant.
Hee Tae accepted his doomed reality that he would always be associated with his father and everyone around him would always be in danger. When Hee Tae decided to take Myung Hee in his life, he thought he could carry all the burden; he wished to take all the pain and take it away from Myung Hee. The universe was kind to him after all—it granted his prayers and let him remember the month of May for forty years.
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The Brave and Rightful Siblings
Frustrations and irritation might come in our way as we try to understand Lee Soo Ryun’s decisions. But, undeniably, she was a fighter for freedom—and that was commendable. It might took her some time to understand that fighting for independence must come from her own liberty first. She freed herself and continue to stand what she believed in—“We may not be able to change anything, but there are things we can do.”
Soo Ryun’s brother, Soo Chan, represented perfectly that experiences mold one’s life. He was always righteous but would always put his family first. But, after being captured, he could finally understand on what does “fighting for what is right” really mean.
The Young Witnesses
They were too innocent to hear those gun shots and to see those fallen people attacked by their own country’s defense. Myung Soo (Myung Hee’s brother) and Jung Tae (Hee Tae’s brother) were supposed to be running for medals for their family and not for saving their lives from the merciless shots.
Myung Soo kept on running for his life while losing two precious lives. Jung Tae ran to protect someone who is precious to his brother and hurt his legs—a valued possession of a runner.
The Silent Heroes
They served their country until their last breath.
Hye Gun was a friend to many people. He offered a place of comfort, a “hideout” for people who kept on running. He represented the people who suffered from the brutality made from greed and anger.
Jeong Haeng served the people. Jeong Haeng protected the people. How we wish that there were lots of him in the military instead of men in uniform who abused the power of weapons.
With his brief appearances, he broke the hearts of many by ending love before it even started.
A Father’s Sacrifice
I knew he would die for his children. I knew that he would made us ugly cry when he started delivering his thoughts for Myung Hee. Kim Hyun Cheol might crippled his daughter’s wings by choosing the road that he thought was the safest, but he was still a protector to his children, a good son to his mother, a devoted husband to his wife, and a great provider to his family.
He was a father and a front runner to shield the wind that is about to come to his children, running from his back.
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Who Lost His Family?
There might be no drop of tears we wanted to give to Hee Tae’s father, Hwang Gi Nam, because he even didn’t know how to have one in the first place. He only knew how to put his anger to other people’s pain. He only knew how to put his disappointment by hurting other people’s feelings.
It’s still a puzzle, however, how Gi Nam ended like an ultimate villain and what exactly happened between him and Myung Hee’s father before.
Gi Nam had one of the best family that one could wish for—a smart first son, a kind second son, and a faithful wife. He already lost them even before he realised.
Youth of May gave us a lot of scenes that took away our supply of tissue paper, but it’s incomparable with what and how the people suffered in May 1980—a reality that no one could remove from the books of history. Which scene ripped your heart deepest? Which character you want to give your shoulder to cry on?
Fangirling: Started from Full House. Continued in Secret Garden. Though a total K-drama addict, she’s a newbie in the world of Korean and Chinese idols.
Personal: She is a lover of coffee and cheese. She’s been wandering slowly (very) for seven years, finding home in cities she fell in love with. When she can win over laziness, she will let the words flow.