Byung-du is a 29-year-old career criminal, working for the middle-rank enforcer Sang-chul. Burdened with a terminally ill mother and taking care of younger siblings, Byung-du is feeling ... See full summary »
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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