The theme of old age and illness find a new positive essence in poetry. A device to have even the elderly explore life in new and interesting ways. The excellent screenplay and brilliant directing from Chang-Dong Lee combined with an engaged ensemble cast and revealing cinematography, give place for an intimate interaction. The poets and aspiring poets fit well in this story of inner discovery. The inspiration is difficult to come by and external events will accentuate the duality of seeing life as an observer while also being an essential actor.
The multi-layered story has poetry, dialogue, imagery and much time for reflection. The film builds up to the last poem "Agnes' Song" by Mija Yang (the protagonist) which is powerful and perfect. Accentuated by it's accompanying images, it brings out life, beauty, sadness, acceptance, connection and so much more. The editing is especially effective here, but is extraordinary throughout. The ending confirms that the collections of individually intense and intelligent scenes witnessed transcends by transposing and transforming Mija and ultimately the viewer.
Hopefully this will inspire a perhaps much needed poetic view of this hypermodern world which can barely watch deliberate thoughtful meaningful measured movies like this, much less find and read a poem. Maybe this artistic beckon will even encourage someone to write one.
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