6.7/10
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6 user 1 critic

Yeoseot gae ui siseon (2003)

Not Rated | | Drama | 14 November 2003 (South Korea)
Several of Korea's most acclaimed filmmakers, including Park Chan-wook (OLDBOY), explore the nature of discrimination in this provocative anthology.

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(segment), (segment) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jong-hak Baek ...
(segment "The man with an Affair")
Jeong-su Byeon ...
(segment "The man with an Affair")
Ae-Yeon Jeong ...
(segment "Face Value")
...
(segment "Face Value")
Se-dong Kim ...
(segment "Tongue Tie")
Ji-hyeon Lee ...
(segment "Never Ending Peace and Love")
...
(segment "Never Ending Peace and Love")
Seung-su Ryu ...
(segment "Tongue Tie")
Edit

Storyline

Several of Korea's most acclaimed filmmakers, including Park Chan-wook (OLDBOY), explore the nature of discrimination in this provocative anthology.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

14 November 2003 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

If You Were Me  »

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User Reviews

 
Good, sometimes visionary, if uneven, omnibus.
2 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This omnibus film, sponsored by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, featured six short films covering the theme of "prejudice" or "discrimination". Like its successor, this allows for a broad range of films, from straightforward examinations via linear narrative, to science fiction, hybrid documentary/fiction and so on. Each of these contextualizes a societal issue in South Corea that deals with the theme. Although it's a rather uneven work when taken in as a whole, overall, it's still commendable for both the issues that the shorts confront as well as the means they go about confronting them.

The opening film, "The Weight of Her", is a very straightforward work set in an all-girl's school. It's protagonist is an overweight young woman who has to confront the regular societal pressures not only to be thin, but also the pressures to be beautiful (as defined by the culture) and ladylike. We follow the protagonist as she struggles with herself and her situation of being genetically disfavored by society. There's a bit of a twist at the end, but not one that necessarily makes you feel any better about the plight of women in South Corea. A solid above average narrative work.

The second film is the most curious of them all. "The Man with the Affair" deals with a complex, troublesome and shunned element of society in its titular character. What makes it curious is that the story actually focuses around a young boy, but even more so, it's set in a dystopian future. I was particularly impressed with the weight of oppression that the setting brings, but the story itself doesn't really let us into the subject and instead we are more engrossed in the plight of the protagonist, which has an element relating to the theme itself, but the distance from part of the core of the film creates enough friction to make this an admirable, but flawed effort.

The third film, "Crossing" encounters a man with what appears to be cerebral palsy. What's striking about this piece is that the actors are all clearly people who actually have the conditions that their characters portray. Otherwise, the piece is a non-linear work, much like a visual journal and while it does connect with the theme, it's more about humanizing the protagonist to us. Unfortunately, the story doesn't fully tie together and so the piece is left uneven, with good acting and characterization, but a bit of an aimless story that does conclude, but, not being so reflexive or existentialist, it's story doesn't really strike in any way. Nonetheless, it's remarkable for the positive points mentioned above.

The fourth film, "Tongue Tie" is a story about a child and the problem that his parents perceive him to have. It's a rather shocking piece and one that I can't necessarily recommend just because not everyone can handle it. But it does an immense job of raising questions when it's over, especially about the parent/child relationship as well as the pressures facing children in the cutthroat competitive workforce that they face even decades in their futures. It's not for everyone, but has a surprising amount of merit when it's all said and done.

The fifth film, "Face Value" is also a very interesting tale that centers on a man who wakes up in a parking garage after a night of heavy drinking. It deals with his encounter with an attractive garage attendant and straightforwardly breaks class and gender prejudices. There is a bit of a twist at the end that turns this story into something else, but I had a hard time trying to figure out why it was necessary. The piece has good characterization, decent acting and interesting dialog, but doesn't necessarily bring it beyond a modest work.

The final film, "NEPAL (Never Ending Love And Peace)", is a stylish dramatized documentary that centers around a Nepali immigrant to Corea and the problems she faces after an incident leaves her having to confront the government with her limited language skills. As it is based on actual events, what happens is quite surprising and the film overall remains gripping as we root for the protagonist, despite the frustrating madness that she has to endure. I thought that this piece had the best sense of closure and ranks among the more potent of this batch.

Almost all of the directors featured have at least one film that I love, so it was quite interesting to see some of their approaches to the task set before them. Overall, I have to admit that while this is a good work, the segments are of varying cohesiveness and successfulness. Nevertheless, each attempt has something valuable about it. It's a good work and merits viewing, with caveats as mentioned above. 7/10.


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