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Poetry

LEE Chang-dong

  • South Korea
  • 2010
  • 139min
  • 15 +
  • DCP
  • color

SYNOPSIS

Mija lives with her middle-schooler grandson. By chance she takes a ‘poetry’ class at a cultural center and is challenged to write a poem for the first time in her life. Her quest for poetic inspiration begins with finding beauty from everyday life. But when she is suddenly faced with a harsh reality, she realizes perhaps life is not as beautiful as she had thought it is.

PROGRAM NOTE

Poetry is a film about faces. It questions whether we can truly confront the face of a girl who died before she could express herself enough to the world and the face that is still submerged in the river. On the other hand, it is also a film that lingers on the face of Mija, a woman in her 60s who is still curious about others' lives and finds the world mysterious. The film follows Mija's desires and movements as she wishes to write poetry, which is also a process of seeking beauty according to a poet's words. Watching Mija's face as she marvels at sunlight, wind, and birds chirping, one might believe that this journey is towards beauty. However, Mija cannot write poetry. Despite opening herself to the world with such a pure face, she cannot write a poem. Perhaps it is due to early signs of Alzheimer's, where words are forgotten. Considering that poetry begins with questioning the existing meanings of words, it is hard to attribute Alzheimer's as the reason she can't write. Instead, it is preferable to talk about the chill that occasionally creeps onto Mija's face. Mija, who emphasizes to her grandson that a clean body leads to a pure heart, sometimes shows her cold face as if she has faced the dirt of the world. What she saw might not be the blemishes that may tarnish the beauty that might become poetry. Ultimately, only Mija can write poetry. Yoon Jeong-hee has left us a face that is desperately curious about the world and desires to understand others. Her dazzlingly clear face also reflects the darkness of the world. [Programmer SON Sinae]

schedule

Code Time Theater Grade
701 2023-08-25 | 17:20 - 19:39 Korean Film Archive Cinematheque KOFA Screening 1

Director

  • LEE Chang-dong

    Lee Chang-dong began a career in theater in his twenties and then moved on to work as a novelist and high school teacher during the eighties. With his directorial debut feature Green Fish (1997), he achieved both domestic and international acclaim and accolades. He directed award-winning feature films such as Peppermint Candy (1999), Oasis (2002), and Secret Sunshine (2007). In 2002, he was appointed as Minister of Culture and Tourism. 

Credit

  • Producer이준동 LEE Joon-dong
  • Cast 윤정희, 이다윗, 김희라, 안내상, 김용택 YOON Jeong-hee, Lee David, KIM Hee-ra, AN Nae-sang, KIM Yong-taek
  • Screenwriter 이창동 LEE Chang-dong
  • Cinematographer 김현석 KIM Hyun-seok
  • Editor 김현 KIM Hyeon
  • Production Design 신점희 SIN Jeom-hui

CONTACT

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