In 1901, the Korean island of Cheju is suffering the aftermath of a recent war; a heavy tax has been levied to pay debts from the war, and French Catholic missionaries, on the island to bring Christianity to the people, support the tax collectors. Yi Jae-su (Lee Jung-jae), a messenger, is outraged by this situation, and he leads a revolt of Confucians against the government agents and the missionaries, leading to a bloody siege. Director and co-screenwriter Park Kwang-su adapted this film from a novel by Hyun Ki-young, which was in turn based on actual historical events.
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