Two interwoven stories. The first is a biography of anarchist Sakae Osugi which follows his relationship with three women in the 1920s. The second centers around two 1960s' students researching Osugi's theories.
The film intercuts two stories, one in black and white, one in color. From 1965 to 1970, we follow Jeon Tae-Il, a poor young man who quits street vending to work in a garment factory. Amid ... See full summary »
Lawrence (played by Frank Wood), a photographer living on his own in New Jersey, rekindles a relationship with his old flame Caroline (played by Paige Turco) shortly before she dies in an ... See full summary »
Haru, an aging scriptwriter, has isolated himself somewhere in the woods of Nagano to work on his first novel. As the last surviving member of his kin, he intends to chronicle the family he grew up in.
The movie is built around the very complex relationships between Yoshida, leaving Shimizu for Aihara (or at least he tries to), and his friend Ito, whose love for Yoshida seems to have ... See full summary »
A man penetrates by night in a nurse dormitory planning to kill them all. While he accomplishes to his self imposed task thoughts and obsessions come to his mind revealing his love deficits... See full synopsis »
Yong Ho, a problematic guy, is walking alone at the riverside. He suddenly bumped with his friend's reunion. He join them and after that go to the railway to commit suicide.Then, the train reverse back to show why he become like that from the beginning. Covers five phase of his life. Written by
It's leaking, in a new place. Last night, the rain fell on my forehead, as I lay in bed. You, sit down! Fucker! This isn't a game, sit! Isn't the way I live pathetic? Wonder why I live this way? Although I don't know who sent you, I want to talk with you.
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'Peppermint Candy' is an ambitious movie with a protagonist directly involved in important political (a dictatorial regime, the Gwangju Massacre, torture) and socio-economic (trade unionism, the business world) issues. It is a strong meditation on the history of South Korea, its political problems and the violent repression of democratization movements by the government through the army and the police. These authoritarian interventions demoralized the population and broke the idealism of the South-Korean youth, with the protagonist of this movie as a pars pro toto. He is forced as a soldier to participate in the repression of a student and trade union uprising (the Gwangju Pro-Democracy Movement) and as a police officer in the torture of trade unionists.
For most non-Korean viewers the socio-political events in this movie are probably not well known. A (second) more explicit title for the various episodes would certainly have helped their understanding. Lee Chang-dong used brilliantly very effective symbols, such as people with disabilities (the destabilization of the population), a train for flashbacks or the title (and the distribution of mints during the different 'bitter' episodes) as a contrast with the fate of the main character.
This second feature film by Lee Chang-dong is very representative for the movies which could be shot in a freer and more open South Korean society from the 1990s on. Highly recommended.
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