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Professional Education 03

Theories of Learning

Mambiar, Rebekah C. Prof. Fortunato Vendivel Jr.
II-1 BSE English

Reflection Paper: Miracle in Cell No. 7


The Miracle in Cell No. 7 is a Korean movie about Yong-goo (Ryoo Seung-ryong), who is
mentally handicapped but fondly takes care of his little daughter Ye-seung (Gal So-won). He wants
to buy her a Sailer Moon schoolbag and therefore follows a little girl who can show him a shop that
still sells it. But the girl dies, apparently by a hit to the head with a brick, and Yong-goo is standing
above her and has partly undressed her when a witness sees him. For the police and the media the
case is obvious right away, even the more as the victim is the daughter of the police commissioner
and results need to be available as soon as possible. In prison Yong-goo is treated everything but
friendly because of his crime as well, but his cellmates led by Yang-ho (Oh Dal-soo) soon find out
that the death of the girl actually was just an unfortunate accident and that the police forced the
mentally handicapped man to make a false confession by beating him and making promises. Even
the prison warden (Jeong Jin-yeong) has doubts about Yong-goo's guilt. Somehow Yong-goo's new
friends then manage to smuggle Ye-seung into prison. However, the two haven't much time together
left as Yong-goo is on death row (Asian Movie Web). The movie ended with Ye-seung growing up to
be a lawyer, and the case of Yong-goo his father was reexamined. From being sentenced to death,
Yong-goo was pronounced to be not guilty instead. It was, however, years too late to save his life.


The movie proved to be worth praising in general, for it had been a good combination of
comedy and drama. It was very well able to portray in principles the everyday problems of those
who are intellectually challenged people. It was able to depict truths about life in some degree. I
realized that the world is a great disadvantage to those exceptional people. The world is just too
inconsiderate, biased against these less capable persons. Our due processes are not necessarily just
for them, for instance.
The movie used an en medias res plot line. It started from the middle of the story and
revealed the past by flashbacks and dialogues between the characters. This created a suspense aura
throughout the movie, which is commendable. Nonetheless, although it has a good plot, I believe the
series of events in the story was a bit too unrealistic. It seemed to me more of an exaggeration, rather
than a close imitation, of the real life.
It just struck me, however, how the title of the movie actually seems to be an irony when
compared to the movie itself. It was entitled The Miracle; and what is a miracle? It usually
connotes extraordinary means of obtaining salvation from immediate threats and dangers. Yet, Yong-
goo failed to have just that. He died from death sentence all the same. He did not experience the
miracle. If one would look closer, however, this miracle was one which occurred subtler, more
unnoticed, than justification of an accused person. It happened in the hearts of the other people
involvednot just within the 7
cell! And this, I believe, is even greater than law pardon. It is one
miracle that gets to be carried on, from one age to another, from one person to the next.