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[HanCinema's News] "The Glory" Sparks Discussion of Violence by Instructors

In "The Glory" actor Park Yoon-hee plays Head Teacher Kim, one of the many tormentors of the lead character played by Song Hye-kyo when she was still a child. In response to the drama's popularity, South Korean online communities have been speaking up about their own experiences regarding violence received at the hand of instructors. Many have noted with hope the idea that some twenty years later after the initial abuse, it may still be possible to seek justice.


More specific stories are discouraging. One commenter claimed that after transferring to a new school in 2004, a head instructor was so disgusted with the student's attitude that he took her to the roof and struck her for an hour, being careful to take off his watch ahead of time to avoid damaging it, much like the teacher in "The Glory" does. Purportedly this student fell down multiple times, and had to come back up again in order to allow the beating to continue.

The experience was so traumatizing that after only a month of class she had to quit high school entirely, and only has a middle school education today, and that she's lived with this nightmare for the last twenty years. The commenter stated that if there were a way, she would want this teacher punished for what he did. Other commenters echoed the sentiments, with another mentioning a similar experience thirty-three years ago that still makes her cry.

One student claimed to have been beaten with a broomstick so badly in middle school that the broomstick broke. Far from receiving an apology, this student was then summoned to the science lab for verbal abuse. The commenter stated that at the time she cried a lot and then forgot about the incident, but that today she regrets all of this. Still another commenter claimed to have been hit so hard with a fist that blood came out of her nose, on top of an already bad situation at home.

Though "The Glory" has been criticized by some for its overly elaborate depiction of violence, these stories go a long way to explaining some of the show's surprising popularity. Many people worldwide have had similarly bad experiences as the lead character, and can identify with her pain- as well as her desire for revenge. "The Glory" came back with its second part this past March 10th, and had over 124 million hours viewed in its first three days according to official figures released by Netflix.

Written by William Schwartz


"The Glory" is directed by Ahn Gil-ho, written by Kim Eun-sook, and features Song Hye-kyo, Lee Do-hyun, Lim Ji-yeon, Yeom Hye-ran, Park Sung-hoon, Jung Sung-il-I. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2022/12/30 & 2023/03/10, Fri on Netflix.

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