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A public accountant's salary is far too small for him to even get a cavity fixed, let alone support his family. However, he must somehow provide for his senile, shell-shocked mother, his malnurished, pregnant wife, a younger brother who won't work, his unmarried sister who is prostituting herself to foreigners for extra money, and two young children. Written by
AIMLESS BULLET (1960-1/Obaltan) ain't shooting blanks, check this one out!
If you got a chance to see the very recent South Korean war movie "Tae-guk-gi," then this post-war offering makes for a nice companion piece. Basic storyline involves two brothers and their highly contrasting lives (though they share the same house). 'Chul-ho Song', the older brother has a dead-end job as a clerk, a sick mother, his sister, wife, and two kids. But at least he's working, since 'Yong-ho Song', the younger brother is unemployed but still manages to spend his evenings drinking with his war buddies (exhibiting an interesting assortment of war wounds). Since this film was shot in Seoul shortly after the war there are occasional shots of walls with bullet holes, barbed wire, and bombed out areas of the city. Well-made drama with quite a few melodramatic flourishes, but the divergent plot line keeps you guessing how the brothers will resolve their difficulties. Most ominous of all is sick mother waking up repeatedly and gasping, "let's get out of here." With one brother trapped in the "cage of conscience" and the other willing to go to extremes to get money, the only real escape is death and the eventual tragic ending exemplifies that attitude. Check this one out, you won't regret it. Film will be screening in NYC at the Walter Reade theater in November 2004 as part of a Korean retrospective, then hopefully head elsewhere for more USA exposure to the rising Korean film industry.
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