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
27 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jeong-hie Yun ... Yang Mi-ja
Lee Da-wit ... Jong-wook (as David Lee)
Hee-ra Kim ... Elder Kang
Nae-sang Ahn ... Ki-beom's Father
Yong-taek Kim ... Poet Kim Yong-taek
Myung-shin Park ... Hee-jin's Mother
Jong-goo Kim ... Park Sang-tae
Kim Hye-Jung ... Jo Mi-hye
Bok-gi Min ... Soon-jeong's Father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hye-jin Jang ... Mr. Kang's second daughter-in-law (as Hyae Jin Chang)
Ja-yeong Kim Ja-yeong Kim ... Bus woman
Nam-jin Kim Nam-jin Kim ... Soo-ok
Hyeok-soo Kwon Hyeok-soo Kwon ... Read the poem member
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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:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lee wrote the lead character specifically for Jeong-hie Yun, a major star of Korean cinema from the 1960s and 1970s. Yun later expressed satisfaction with how the role differed from what she typically played in the past: "I've always had the desire to show people different aspects of my acting and (Lee) provided me with every opportunity to do just that." Prior to Poetry, the last film Yun appeared in was Manmubang ("Two Flags") from 1994. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fokus på Film fra Sør (2011) See more »

User Reviews

 
Looking for the poetry in life
30 August 2011 | by punyaketuSee all my reviews

What a wonderful film! To give my personal answer to one interviewer's question "Do you regard cinema, too, to be a dying form?" to the director Lee Chang-Dong. I believe (and deeply hope) that as long as films like Poetry are being made cinema will continue to flourish because it is important. It will continue to exist as long as humans exist because they are about being human. I was struck by how masterfully two sides of our humanness were presented in the film. On the one hand, it is about our search for beauty, as beauty can only be experienced if something of our own potential beauty responds to the beauty around us. There is something spiritual in this as Beauty and Truth are essentially one. On the other hand, there is the human predicament. That includes the pro and cons of the fact that we always have the choice to decide if we act ethically or not. That means if we actually say Yes to what is intrinsically our positive potential, or we say No and harm others, our environment and as a kind of end result, ourselves. What for me links the two is impermanence. Old age, illness and suicide as it is shown in the film. "Everything that is born will have to die" goes a very old Buddhist saying, and that happens no matter if we like it or not. At the same time, would we experience beauty if everything was to exist forever? Is it not because a beautiful flower grows out of a very simple looking seed in spring and then withers away after some weeks that it can become so precious to us? Without impermanence there is, one could say, by definition no beauty. Both are somehow the two sides of the same metaphorical coin. The same is true about this film. It still lingers on in my heart and mind weeks after I saw it. Very much like a true and wonderful poem, for example Rainer Maria Rilke's First Duino Elegy. It is is just about that, the wonder and horror of beauty.


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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:

KRW1,300,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,900, 13 February 2011

Gross USA:

$356,149

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,539,040
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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