Im sees parallels between Korea, Middle East



DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Legendary Korean director Im Kwon-taek arrived in Dubai on Thursday to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dubai International Film Festival. Im has been a major figure in Korean cinema for more than three decades, and his 100th film, "Chun-nyun-hack," will screen in conjunction with the award.

The director, whose films have often chronicled political upheaval, sees certain parallels between Korea's troubled history and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.

"Looking at the misfortunes that are happening in the Middle East, it reminds me of the civil war in Korea," Im said. "As someone who went through that and saw the destruction that a war like that could cause and how much Koreans were damaged and victimized by that war, we looked at that and realized that, in the end, neither north nor south really got anything out of that war and it ended in misfortune and unhappiness."

Im added that he hoped that the people of the Middle East could work together and benefit from the hard lessons learned in Korea.

"We know that such turmoil only brings more unhappiness," he said. "We cannot help but hope that people can work together more in harmony and avoid victimization and solve their problems together. We can only wish that the Middle East will be able to create an easier path for itself through harmony."