Japanese media has been criticizing Ryoo Seung-wan‘s The Battleship Island even before its completion saying the film is depicting false facts and is “distorting” history between the two countries.

However, during a news conference for the film, Director Ryoo Seung-wan defends that it is a “fact-based fiction” which he studied himself. He made mention of the film’s depictions of the labourers and their setting which were in line with South Korean government reports released in 2012. Only the main characters’ dramatical stories were from his imagination.

Other than that, the director assures that once the film hits the theaters all Japanese concerns would dissipate as it is not meant to bring about nationalistic or anti-Japanese sentiments instead it is “more fundamentally about the mankind and war.”

Source: yonhapnews.co.kr

The much anticipated film tells the story of Korean forced labourers who lived in Japan’s Hashima Island, named Battleship Island in English, and their desperate attempts to escape during World War II. It stars some of Korea’s A-list actors Hwang Jung-min, So Ji-sub, Song Joong-ki, and Lee Jung-hyun which were all present in the said conference.

Source: yonhapnews.co.kr

Ryoo mentions that upon learning the presence of the island through a photo shown to him two years ago, he got motivated to learn more of the island’s story and make a film about it. Wanting to recreate the scenes as close to reality, the film cost around 25 billion won (US$22.2 million) to produce.

The Battleship Island is set to open next month, July 2017.

Source: Yonhap News Agency