At dawn on the 25th of June 1950, the Korean War broke out. More than a million South Koreans died. Now, almost seventy years later, the full extent of the atrocities committed during the war remain unknown. But there are bones in the ground that can reveal what really happened.
In 2005, a South Korean government-appointed Truth and Reconciliation Commission (a.k.a. TRC) uncovered 168 massacres that happened during the Korean War. More than nine thousand family members have asked for help in finding the remains of their loved ones. But by 2010, the commission was shut down. The conservative party, the military, and the police who were highly involved in these massacres feared the investigations were being exploited for the opposition’s political benefit.
Accounts of the massacres point to both South Korean and American soldiers. But so far no one has been held accountable. Haunted by the unsolved murders and gripped by their civic responsibility to accurately record history, these former investigators and the bereaved families restarted a project at various areas to uncover the truth on their own.
As they dug into the ground, scorched black soil spilled out. Beneath the soil laid bones. Mostly women, the elderly and children. What really happened? Can we have peace without confronting the truth of the past? Using in verite style and archive footage, 206 Unearthed focuses on the recovery operation of the massacre site while examining how we as humans keep record, collectively remember, and sometimes willfully forget our own history.