The South Korean air force has posted a Les Misérables video parody on YouTube, complete with snow-shovelling airmen, a lovelorn military service conscript and a vindictive superior officer.
The 14-minute video, titled Les Militaribles, has gathered more than 2.6 million views in just a few days and even received a Twitter nod from one of the stars of the Hollywood version, Russell Crowe.
The parody uses the same famous score for the musical’s big numbers Look Down, I Dreamed a Dream and Do You Hear the People Sing? but replaces the original lyrics with an alternative Korean-language version. In the opening scene, young airmen are doing their military service labour by clearing a runway after a heavy snowfall. Look Down becomes Dig Down as the conscripts chant: “Dig down, dig down, and clear the snow below / There is no end to this accursed snow.”
“We made the video to lift the spirit of servicemen who had to work so hard to clear snow during the unusually heavy winter this year,” said Major Cheon Myeong-Nyeong, one of the officers behind the project. All the cast – with the exception of one woman – were conscripts, he said.
Two years of military service is mandatory for all able-bodied men in South Korea.
“We hope that the video can help shatter the image of the military as a dull place and encourage more youth to take the service with delight,” Cheon said.