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 ... See full summary »
A sixty and something year old captain has been raising for ten years a girl since she was six in his old fishing vessel that is permanently anchored offshore with the intention of marrying her on her seventeenth birthday. He survives bringing fishermen to fish in the vessel and predicting the future using his bow and shooting arrows in a Buddhist painting on the hull of the vessel while the girl moves back and forth in a swing. He also uses the bow and arrows to protect the girl against sexual assault of the fishermen. They live happily until the day that a teenage student comes to the ship and the girl feels attracted to him. When the teenager discovers that the girl was abducted when she was six and does not know the world, he returns to the vessel to bring the girl back to her parents.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I must confess I am a huge Kim Ki-Duk fan, and have loved every one of his films. In my opinion Ki-Duk has directed 4 absolute masterpieces of modern cinema, Bad Guy, 3 Iron, The Isle, and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. Each of these films has gone some way to changing the shape, scope, style or accepted boundaries of modern cinema.
The Bow, however does not go to these lengths, but instead falls into the category of Ki-Duk's more eclectic and arguably more mainstream works like the Birdcage Inn or Samaria. This is by no means a bad thing as these are also great films in their own right.
Much like 3 Iron, the Bow has very little dialog, and much of the emotion is conveyed solely by glances, gestures or actions. This makes the film both more and less commercially acceptable to western audiences.
The Bow has re-confirmed Kim Ki-Duk as a modern cinematic maverick, an uncompromisingly original and visionary director.
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