13 August 2006

Samaria (사마리아)

Another film by Kim Ki-duk (김기덕), the controversial South Korean director who investigates the darkest recesses of Korean society.
The story is as follows [spoilers!]: two teenage girls want to travel to Europe. One of them prostitutes herself, while the other one arranges her appointments and keeps track of the money. One day, the prostitute girl accidentally kills herself escaping the police. Her friend decides to trace back the clients, to sleep with them, and to return the money, in order to ease her grief. But her father, who is a police inspector and a devout Catholic, finds out what his daughter is doing and starts stalking the clients, eventually killing one of them. He then surrenders to the police.
As usual with Kim, characters do not talk much, and we do not know the real reasons behind their actions. He highlights the problems in Korean society and raises questions, not answers. He highlights the strains in the father-daughter relationship, again at a distance. And there are lots of religious overtones (both Buddhist and Christian) that are better left for the spectator to ponder way after the film has ended. A bitter film with aloof characters, but really worth watching.

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