Escape from Mogadishu is a story of two rival diplomats from North and South Korea, who are trapped and escaping one of the most dangerous cities in the world due to civil war. The film focuses on the Somalia capital Mogadishu where, in 1991, General Aidid’s forces are fighting for supremacy. It’s a story about fighting for survival. It’s a story about hope and unity.
Ryoo (the Director) captures the absurdity of the situation in Mogadishu with humor and empathy. The Somali people are presented as both victims of violence and their own government, but also as survivors with a resilience that’s admirable. This film is an example of how to use documentary filmmaking to give voice to those who don’t have one.
I liked the most the frantic and heart-stopping final few minutes of the movie – the thrilling car chase, when the Korean characters, in their desperation to escape Mogadishu, band together in a convoy of cars reinforced by whatever they could find in the Italian embassy. Heavy fire, with bullets shattering windows and nicking off paint jobs.
The movie shows what it’s like for those who must swallow their pride as a necessity to survive, as it reveals the intricacies involved in the relationship between South and North Korea. In other words, both countries should realise that they really need to focus on the challenges facing them and put aside everything else.
If we want to find a solution for this conflict, we must look beyond our own desires and try to put ourselves in the shoes of the other side.
One particular and sad scene in the movie that really touched me was when the characters were only able to say goodbye, but acted as if nothing happened.