Previously at the ICA - Films

Paju, Dir Park Chan-ok, 2010

Paju

13 Nov 2010

It is rare when a film like this comes around, not just because it is helmed but one of the very few female Korean filmmakers but because of its deeply rich and layered story structure which is only been seen in a small amount of the director’s contemporaries such as Hong Sangsoo.

An activist in 1996, Joong-shik (Lee Seon-gyun), accidently causes a horrifying injury to his lover’s infant son and flees from the police to Paju, a small developing town. He lays low but eventually falls in love and marries Eunsoo (Shim Yi-young) who lives with her younger sister, Eunmo (Seo Woo). Sadly Eunsoo dies in an explosion which causes her sister to run away to India.

Eunmo returns in 2003 to find Joong-shik now a leader of squatters who violently battle against the demolition of an apartment complex. Reuniting with her brother-in-law stirs up all the mixed emotions of hate, resentment, envy and love that she had for him which become even more complex when she begins to believe that Joong-shik might of killed her sister.

Park could have told this story in a conventional manner but the director chose to unravel the story through jarring flashbacks, pushing the audience to work harder than they normally would but creating a far more satisfying viewing experience. A greatly entertaining film with fantastic sedated acting from the leads and a tremendous leap in storytelling mastery from Park Chan-ok.

Paju - trailer

Dir Park Chan-ok, S.Korea 2010, 35mm, 110 mins

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