본문 바로가기 메뉴 바로가기

A Woman Judge

HONG Eun-won

  • South Korea
  • 1962
  • 85min
  • 15 +
  • DCP
  • b&w

SYNOPSIS

A husband is jealous because his wife is a judge, an occupation high on the social ladder. His stepmother harasses the judge, using his jealousy against her. And his sister also has no intention to give peace to her sister-in-law. But the judge tries her best to do her two duties as a judge and as a wife. 

PROGRAM NOTE

A Women Judge, directed by Hong Eun-won in 1962, depicts the journey of the female protagonist, Jin-suk (starring Moon Jung-suk), becoming a judge, getting married, and navigating her married life, while questioning whether peaceful coexistence between family and career, marriage life and social life is possible for women. The film continuously introduces the conflict between the private and public spheres, which remains today, through Jin-sook's dialogues. After passing the judicial exam with her parents' expectations and support, Jin-sookk confidently declares, ""I will not be just any woman until I become a judge!"" However, this foreshadows the conflict she will face as a judge, wife, daughter-in-law, and mother-in-law, along with the realization that Korean women's self-effort for advancement is crucial. While the three generations of family members are embedded in traditional family roles, Jin-sook constantly struggles between the public and private spheres. As she raises her voice in the public sphere, her personal space, her home, starts to crumble. Despite the conflicts with her husband, who has abandoned his faith in her as he agrees with the old saying that ""When the hen crows, the house goes to ruin,"" and the relatives who continuously nitpick, Jin-sook becomes a mediator, solving family murder cases under the name of the law.

The film raises questions about whether Jin-suk's attempt to reconcile the private and public spaces by becoming a lawyer and resolving issues from the perspective of a fellow woman is a compromise or an act of rebellion. The director Hong Eun-won explores the intense social reactions surrounding the death of Korea's first female judge, promptly reflecting on that time's consciousness. Although some scenes remain lost and unexplored due to the film's preservation status, the underlying message can still be understood. Even after 60 years, this film provides an opportunity to reflect on the reality faced by women like Jin-sook today and here. [BYUN Jairan]

schedule

Code Time Theater Grade
704 2023-08-29 | 17:00 - 18:25 Korean Film Archive Cinematheque KOFA Screening 1  PE

Director

  • HONG Eun-won

    Born in Soonchun in 1922, Hong Eun-won is Korea’s first female screenwriter and the second female filmmaker. Graduating Kyunggi Girl’s High School, Hong went over to Manchuria and became a member of Shin Kyung Music Choirs. After Korea was liberated from Japanese rule, Hong returned to Seoul and stepped into the film industry as a script supervisor of Choi Yin-gyu’s An Innocent Criminal (1948). After building her career as a script supervisor, screenwriter, and assistant director, Hong directed her debut feature A Woman Judge, which made her the second female filmmaker in Korean film history. Later, Hong directed two more films The Single Mom (1964) and What Misunderstanding Left Behind (1965).

Credit

  • Producer차태진 CHA Tae-jin
  • Cast 문정숙, 김승호, 김석훈, 유계선, 엄앵란 MOON Jung-suk, KIM Seung-ho , KIM Seok-hun, YU Gye-seon, UM Aing-ran
  • Screenwriter 추 식 CHU Sik
  • Cinematographer 장 환 JANG Hwan
  • Editor 홍은원 HONG Eun-won
  • Sound 이경순 LEE Kyeong-sun
  • Production Design 박석인 PARK Seok-in

CONTACT

Korean Film Archive | SHIN Jaeyoung | babioo1000@koreafilm.or.kr