Seven-year-old Sang-woo is left with his grandmother in a remote village while his mother looks for work. Born and raised in the city, Sang-woo quickly comes into conflict with his ...
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Seven-year-old Sang-woo is left with his grandmother in a remote village while his mother looks for work. Born and raised in the city, Sang-woo quickly comes into conflict with his old-fashioned grandmother and his new rural surroundings. Disrespectful and selfish, Sang-woo lashes out in anger, perceiving that he has been abandoned. He trades his grandmother's only treasure for a video game; he throws his food and he throws tantrums. When Sang-woo's mother finds work and finally returns for him, Sang-woo has become a different boy. Through his grandmother's boundless patience and devotion, he learns to embrace empathy, humility and the importance of family.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The key to this movie is the contrast between the traditional "Eastern" values of Harmony and Inner Focus, and the intruding "Western" ones of Mastery and Acquisition. The seven-year-old protagonist brings with him the culture of the big city, Seoul in this case, but it could be anywhere, represented by his battery-operated game and the fact of his mother dumping him in the first place. He is confronted with his elderly grandmother, who simply refuses to engage him in the kind of outer battle he expects, neither to win it nor to lose it. We as audience continually visualize a "modern" parent either bullying this child into submission, or alternatively pandering to his oblivious self-centeredness. Instead, this caretaker evinces UNRELENTING respect for him as a human being: she never once blames, insults, or degrades him. Thus she sets him on the path of an inner journey which are left hoping will last a lifetime.
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