Romances end in blood and the frail hopes of individuals are torn apart in a vile karmic continuity of colonialism, civil war and occupation. After surviving Japanese colonization, Korea ...
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At South Korea's border with the North, troops guard the coast. Each bullies those ranking beneath him; tensions are high. PFC Kang and his friend Private Kim are on patrol when drinking ... See full summary »
Two Korean ex-pats meet in Paris by chance encounter. One a petty thief and wannabe artist/painter (Chong-Hae), the other a tough guy (Hong San). Hong San saves Chong-Hae from a gang of ... See full summary »
On a fishing boat at sea, a 60-year old man has been raising a girl since she was a baby. It is agreed that they will get married on her 17th birthday, and she is 16 now. They live a quiet and secluded life, renting the boat to day fishermen and practicing strange divination rites. Their life changes when a teenage student comes aboard...
Jae-Young is an amateur prostitute who sleeps with men while her best friend Yeo-Jin "manages" her, fixing dates, taking care of the money and making sure the coast is clear. When Jae-Young... See full summary »
Romances end in blood and the frail hopes of individuals are torn apart in a vile karmic continuity of colonialism, civil war and occupation. After surviving Japanese colonization, Korea became the first war zone of the Cold War. The legacy of war remains today in this divided country. Three forlorn teenagers, Chank-guk, Jihum and Eunok are figures in the landscape of this story, which highlights the global implications of a very Korean reality. None of them is able to escape the withering pull of tragedy. All desperate pleas for love and redemption are returned stamped in red with .Written by
This is gritty and bleak realism at its best. We are in a countryside village on the border to North-Korea were poverty and war (both the Korean war and the continuation of the cold war) takes its toll on the villagers. Prospects are none, but some think of America as one and therefore learns English. This also provides some of the small pieces of comedy in the movie, for example when some youngsters try to translate from a hustler magazine or when two bullies are tough with speaking English with strong Korean accent; Koreans have trouble pronouncing f for instance.. Some other comedy is the US army battalion running and crawling everywhere and the war veteran crazy for medals always bragging about killing 3 commies.
Anyway this very grim and bleak realism is obviously made as a political commentary. I don't blame any of them, they are victims of their circumstances. I sympathize with every one of them. Kim Ki-Duk don't blame anyone either, the Americans are portrayed as human, not as heroes nor devils, but the theme of globalization and colonization still lies implied in the movie. Actually its full of commentary. I wont get into it here.
I know there's a big difference between countryside Korea and big city Korea, but even though I cant say if its real or not, I believe this to be quite realistic. The utter consequences the movie depicts of course is fiction and made to emphasize the horror and drama, this is a movie after all.
This was not very well received in Korea and understandably so, it takes up problems that are very actual today and brings up a painful past. To get rid of these problems it is very important however, that someone like Kim Ki-Duk makes these kind of movies and for people to see them. So go see it!! But its not a pleasant watch.
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