South Korea

Hun Jang – Go-ji-jeon AKA The Front Line [+extras] (2011)

Towards the end of the Korean War an uneasy ceasefire is ordered, but out on the Eastern front line of the Aerok Hills fierce fighting continues. A race to capture a strategic point to determine a new border between the two Koreas is the ultimate prize. A bullet is then found in the body of dead company commander of the South Korean army. The bullet that killed the company commander belongs to the South Korean army. Lieutenant of the Defense Security Command Kang Eun-Pyo is ordered to go out into the Eastern front line and investigate the murder. Read More »

John H. Lee – Pohwasogeuro AKA 71: Into the Fire [+extras] (2010)

Synopsis:
A story of 71 student soldier trainees who fought an impossible war against seasoned North Korean army during Korean War which broke out in 1950. Based on real history, the film delicately depicts the fierce battle that teenage student soldiers fall into as they fight to protect the final defense line by themselves when under a surprise attack and their emotions and conflicts as they experience the grown-ups’ war. Read More »

Je-kyu Kang – Taegukgi hwinalrimyeo AKA Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War [+extras] (2004)

Synopsis:
In 1950, in South Korea, shoe-shiner Jin-tae Lee and his 18-year-old old student brother, Jin-seok Lee, form a poor but happy family with their mother, Jin-tae’s fiancé Young-shin Kim, and her young sisters. Jin-tae and his mother are tough workers, who sacrifice themselves to send Jin-seok to the university. When North Korea invades the South, the family escapes to a relative’s house in the country, but along their journey, Jin-seok is forced to join the army to fight in the front, and Jin-tae enlists too to protect his young brother. The commander promises Jin-tae that if he gets a medal he would release his brother, and Jin-tae becomes the braver soldier in the company. Along the bloody war between brothers, the relationship of Jin-seok with his older brother deteriorates leading to a dramatic and tragic end. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Seom AKA The Isle [+commentary] (2000)

Quote:
An artistic, shocking love story that disturbed audiences and confused almost all critics that couldn’t see beyond the disturbing images. A mute girl maintains a fishing resort where people stay in floating mini-houses while fishing, resting and using prostitutes. She services them in any way she can in order to make ends meet but the crude clientele annoy her often, forcing her at times to take revenge. Along comes a brooding, suicidal client with a dark past. Will they connect through their pain or treat each other like animals? Full of beautiful scenery, poetically breathtaking symbolism, animalistic sex and behaviour, and notorious for its faint-inducing scenes involving fish-hooks. Read More »

Ki-young Kim – Salinnabileul ggotneun yeoja AKA Woman Chasing the Butterfly of Death (1978)

A depressed young man crosses paths with a woman who commits suicide, a book salesman obsessed with the will to live, a resurrected female corpse, and a archaeologist and his unstable artist daughter, in a fantasy tale of life and death. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Bin-Jip AKA 3-iron (2004)

Synopsis
A transient young man breaks into empty homes to partake of the vacationing residents’ lives for a few days. Read More »

So Yong Kim – Na-moo-eobs-neun san AKA Treeless Mountain (2008)

Quote:
What is the nature of childhood resilience? Sisters Jin and Bin, ages 6 and 3, live with their mother. Jin likes school and does well. One day, their mother leaves the girls with their father’s sister, a woman they do not know. The mother seeks a reconciliation with their father. She leaves them a plastic piggy bank, promising to return when the bank is full. The girls scrub and clean for their aunt, a tippler who’s often cranky and complaining. She gives them a few coins for their work. They earn more money catching, grilling, and selling grasshoppers. They miss their mother. The bank fills. They watch for her from a mound of dirt. Will she return? Will stoic faces give way to a smile? Read More »