From shocking and sad to funny and beautiful, from tears to laughter, from bleak reality to poetic fantasy; Song Il-gon enters Korean Cinema with a bang after a few acclaimed short films (... See full synopsis »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ju-hie Seo ...
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Yu-jin Lim ...
Yu-jin
Hye-na Kim ...
Hye-na
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hyeon-jin Baek
Byung-ho Son
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From shocking and sad to funny and beautiful, from tears to laughter, from bleak reality to poetic fantasy; Song Il-gon enters Korean Cinema with a bang after a few acclaimed short films (Liver and Potato and The Picnic)... See full synopsis »

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A place never far away.

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24 November 2001 (South Korea)  »

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Flower Island  »

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The imagery of hurting and healing
21 March 2002 | by (Brussels, Belgium) – See all my reviews

I recently saw this film in the Foreign Film festival of Brugge,and left it with the feeling of not having seen such a profound flick for a very long time. A pity that films of such beauty could not become more widely available. It asks, simply and plainly, a most human question, namely, whether there is healing to great tragedy and sorrow--a question with which, I believe, we are all eventually confronted--lest we are spiritless. We are at first presented with three women, each one of them having just undergone personal disasters of truly unbearable (although commonplace) magnitude. These three tragic heroes, brought together in a most unseeming way, set off to find Flower Island, a place where, it is said, all pains and sorrows are healed. Their search for Flower Island will not turn, however, into an adventure: Flower Island is not what you would call a magical or mythical place as such, but the endeavor yields its miracles in a most fascinating manner.

So what is Flower Island? It does not ruin the film at all for those who have not seen it when I say that it is found in the companionship itself, in the sharing of each other's toils, in the paradoxical giving of what we lack. In spite of how absurd and fragile human bondage is, in it we find the precious gift of healing, that allows us to go on living. As Aquinas once put it, in being a true good towards another we overcome our own sadness.

Finally, let me add that a superb--though tranquil and simple--plot is here framed with delicacy and taste. The tragedies of these three women are shocking but not obscene: they will definitely touch you, and yet not irritate you. The imagery employed is very convincing. By the end of the movie, I believe, the question that the film posits is answered in an honest and realistic manner, and this is what makes it so much worth seeing.


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