DVD review (world cinema) - Han Gong-Ju (7 out of 10)
I was quite enjoying this Korean movie until I realised it’s based on a true story.
The violent and particularly unpleasant act that is at the heart of the film shocked the country at the time and is no less disturbing in this movie.
The remarkable Chun Woo Hee plays Han Gong-Ju, a young student who has to move schools following an incident.
With seemingly no parental support, she moves in with the mother of a former teacher and tries to re-make her life.
However, her attempts at keeping a low profile are thwarted by her new school-mates when they discover her excellent singing skills.
Throughout the movie we are drip-fed scenes leading up to the ‘incident’. But the fact that we see Han Gong-Ju in every scene means we get a very close relationship with her.
Like many foreign films, it’s tough not to judge people or countries through European eyes.
Han Gong-Ju’s lack of family and legal support seems amazing.
But there is much in the direction and acting to admire and we follow the young woman to a conclusion that is unexpected but rather satisfying.
Chun Woo Hee is a star in the making and she seems a dab hand at singing in English.
Overall, this award-winning film is a tough watch at times but is a well made drama.