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Poetry (2010)

Shi (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 11 February 2011 (USA)
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A sixty-something woman, faced with the discovery of a heinous family crime and in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class.

Director:

Chang-dong Lee

Writer:

Chang-dong Lee
24 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jeong-hie Yun ... Mija
Da-wit Lee ... Jongwook
Hee-ra Kim Hee-ra Kim ... M. Kang
Nae-sang Ahn ... Kibum's father
Myung-shin Park Myung-shin Park ... Heejin's mother
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hye-jin Jang ... Mr. Kang's second daughter-in-law (as Hyae Jin Chang)
Yong-taek Kim Yong-taek Kim
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Storyline

A sixty-something woman, faced with the discovery of a heinous family crime and in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

11 February 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Poetry See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

KRW 1,300,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,900, 13 February 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$355,044, 14 August 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming started in August 25, 2009 and ended three months later in Gyeonggi Province and Gangwon Province. Lee was initially worried that Yun's long experience might have bound her to an outdated acting style, but was very pleased with her attitude, saying, "She performed her scenes with a willingness to discuss and this is something that's difficult to find even in younger actors." See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2010 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tears In Heaven
4 April 2012 | by valis1949See all my reviews

POETRY (dir. Chang-dong Lee) POETRY is a slow-moving character drama which is disarmingly powerful, yet haunting and meditative. Mija is a sixty-six year old suffering from early onset Alzheimer's disease who lives in a rural Korean town with her indolent teen aged grandson, Jongwook. In an attempt to stimulate her cognitive abilities, she enrolls in a poetry class. Things are looking up until she learns that her grandson was involved in the suicide of one of his classmates. Jongwook and some of his friends had been sexually abusing a classmate, and this drove the young girl to take her life. Soon Mija is contacted by the fathers of the boys and learns that they want to pay the girl's mother a large sum of money to keep her from going to the authorities. In her poetry class at the community center Mija learns that in order to create poetry one must learn, 'to observe', 'to notice', and 'to witness'. The need for a heightened awareness or sensibility becomes the compelling dichotomy of the film. We observe that the fathers only focus on the ramifications of the incident on the lives of their sons, while Mija becomes moved and deeply empathizes with the loss of this innocent young girl to her family and the community. And, in the end Mija forces her grandson to face up to his responsibility, and she also constructs a loving and heartfelt poetic eulogy for the young girl. And, in a remarkable way of relating these two crucial events, the character of Mija is not even present as the actions unfold. Director, Chang-dong Lee, delivers a wonderful film which touches on a wide range of difficult subjects; poetry, dementia, sexual abuse and suicide, and casts an elderly semi-retired Korean actress as the star of the film. However, these kinds of mature topics and deliberate presentation are out of favor in Hollywood and unpopular with contemporary film audiences. I'm afraid that this film will never garner much commercial success, but if you take the time 'to witness', you will enjoy a truly rewarding cinematic experience.


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