Ki-duk Kim – Paran daemun AKA Birdcage Inn (1998)

With a red-light district in Seoul being demolished, the residents there find they have to relocate. Jin-a opts to leave Seoul and heads to the eastern city of Pohang. There she takes up residence in a boarding house run by a small family. Besides the parents, there is a daughter attending university and a son in high school. At first Jin-a is very happy there, however she continues to sell her body driving her into confrontation with the repressed daughter, Hye-mi. Things go from bad to worse when Jin-a meets Hye-mi’s boyfriend…

Subject matter is a small brothel where a family struggling to support their kids education rents out a prostitute which get shelter, food and some percentages in return. The women of the family largely ignores her, the father sees her as a means for money and sex, the one that respects her is the son who adores her for the beautiful woman she is.

This is a very simple movie, script and execution was so different from the other Kims that I thought it to be from the early 90s not 1998. Music turns even to genuine porn variety. I was surprised to learn that the cinematographer Seo Jeong-min has made almost 130 movies as it seems a bit amateurish, at least he did better in ‘Suchwiin Bulmyeong’.

The basic storyline was good. Its about values turned bad and living poor. Men are captives of their desire and the women are in difficult positions. But the script is not so good, some characters are not believable and the finale was confusing. Go see ‘Suchwiin Bulmyeong’ and ‘Seom’ instead for similar, but much more elaborate film art.

You cant help feel sorry for Jin-a though. She is very fragile and even though she is misused quite a few times she is always positive.

1.15GB | 1:41:34 | 688×368 | avi

Subtitles:English, Japanese & Korean idx/sub

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