“Intention”, A Sewol Ferry Documentary, Breaks Box Office Records in Korea

Audiences flocked to theatres to see “Intention”, a scientific look at the Sewol Ferry Disaster.

According to the Korean Film Council‘s box office tally, the new Sewol Ferry documentary, Intention, has accumulated over 276,000 viewers since its April 12 release day, making it Korea’s most-viewed political-current affairs documentary of all time.


The documentary, released just four days before the Sewol Ferry Disaster’s fourth anniversary, delves into the tragedy with the intention of providing a scientific explanation for why the ill-fated ferry sank.


A total of 304 people, mostly high school students, lost their lives as a result of the MV Sewol‘s sinking, making it the deadliest ferry disaster since the Namyoung‘s sinking in 1970.


For years, the victims’ bereaved families have asked why the ferry sank, why more people weren’t rescued, and who was responsible for the calamity.

Of 476 passengers, only 172 were rescued. 299 of the passengers have been confirmed dead and 5 more remain missing.


Since Intention‘s purpose is to provide only facts, it investigates the “why” but not the “who”, by focusing on the ship’s automatic identification system (AIS).

AIS is an automatic tracking system that provides real-time information on ships’ speed and location to prevent collisions. For three and a half years, AIS data and radar logs were analyzed and cross-checked with survivor testimonies.


Salvaged footage from the black boxes of cars parked inside the vessel also provided key clues to the ferry’s sinking.


After four long years, Intention finally offers the thorough, scientific investigation people have been waiting for, so it’s no surprise that the documentary has taken the box office by storm. Check out the trailer below:

Source: Yonhap News, China Daily and Xinhua Net