11
Nov
09

London Korean Film Festival – Kim’s Daughters

Tonight was part of the retrospective of Korean cinema featuring the movies of Yu Hyun-mok. The first movie, (I didn’t see the second one) was Kim’s Daughters. The movie follows the young adult life of three daughters of a family which is cursed by the death of their great grandmother (or some such relative) who poisoned herself with arsenic. The family legend had it that death by arsenic would curse the family and lead to their ultimate ruin. Fast forward a couple of generations and we have Kim’s daughters. They live in a time when the Japanese are increasing their influence in Korea. The father is struggling to make money and losing the family money. The youngest daughter is sleeping, before marriage, with the house servant. The second daughter isnt’ doing much and our main heroine, Yong-bin, is studying in Seoul and trying hard to keep a thin veneer of respectability on the family. She pretty much fails.

I liked this film alot. Before the screening we had an introduction by some guy who explained that Yu was very much dedicated to realism and showing the harsh realities of life based on his own life experiences. This movie does exactly that, it is gritty, poignent and realistic.  A great film if perhaps not ‘enjoyable’.

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