The idea for the film had its origin in a real-life case where a small town schoolgirl had been raped by a gang of teenage boys. When director Chang-dong Lee heard about the incident, it made an impact on him, although he hadn't been interested in basing a film on the actual events. Later, during a visit in Japan, Lee saw a television program in his hotel room. The program was edited entirely from relaxing shots of nature, "a peaceful river, birds flying, fishermen on the sea with soft new-age music in the background," and a vision for a possible feature film started to form. "Suddenly, it reminded me of that horrible incident, and the word 'poetry' and the image of a 60-year old woman came up in my mind. See more »
Reading Poetry's summary, one sees a sentimental film. I surely wasn't sure if I wanted to see this or not. I am completely happy I did.
What we have here is a slow-paced, delicate film. But it doesn't sway in sentimentality. It's subtle, quiet, and perhaps the most gentle film of the year, but it also wallows in the study of a suburban woman and in many ways feels like a dark portrait of a story. Yoon Jeong-hee is magnificent! She conveys so much emotion, and we realize just how quickly we want to see her journey here. The direction is assured, quitely letting us explore, never calling attention to itself. The screenplay is brilliant, and has the ideal arc needed for a film like this.
There are many amazing moments in this film, moments that really grabbed me and that emotionally shook me. One of the best films of the year in an already amazing year for film.
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