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South Korea, 2004 (MIFF 2004, DOA New Crime Cinema)

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Memories of Murder (Sarineui Chueok) South Korea

One of South Korea's box-office smashes of 2003, Memories of Murder is the latest film from acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho, who dazzled MIFF audiences in 2001 with Barking Dogs Never Bite. Part atmospheric thriller, part low-key comedy, part detective story, part dissection of South Korea itself, Memories of Murder is set around the hunt for the country's first known serial killer.

The tone of the film is set during the opening scene, an investigation into the first grisly murder. A body has been discovered in a ditch beside an open field and the police arrive to investigate. Instead of conducting themselves in an orderly manner, the bungling cops mishandle the crime scene and destroy the evidence. When two murders follow soon after, the police become desperate and attempt to extort a confession from the town's simpleton'they even toy with the idea of using a shaman to apprehend the culprit! Not to be defeated, a 'cool' detective is recruited from Seoul to solve the crimes. By turns gripping and darkly humorous, Memories of Murder never fails to entertain, and reaffirms South Korea's reputation for producing some of the world's most genre-defying cinema.

D Bong Joon-ho P Kim Moo-ryung S Bong Joon-ho, Shim Sung Bo WS CJ Entertainment L Korean w/English subtitles TD 35mm/Col/2003/127mins

Bong Joon-ho was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1969. Films include: Incoherent (1996, short), Barking Dogs Never Bite (MIFF 2001).

See also...


An accomplished debut feature from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho. this twisted social comedy works as a dry and amusing human-interest cackle. An indolent university lecturer, scheming to bribe ... More »


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"Beautifully directed, unsentimental and darkly funny." - Time Out London ... Bong Joon-ho (Mother, MIFF 2009; The Host, MIFF 2006), a true creative and commercial giant of South Korean cinema, made ... More »


Screened in Director's Fortnight, this film is, at once, a revelation (one of the few at Cannes this year) and a reaffirmation of filmmaker Bong Joon-ho's ability to mould humour, socio-political ... More »


I'll Sleep When I'm Dead UKLegendary hard man Will Graham (Clive Owen, Gosford Park) has been hiding out due to his criminal past. For three years he has been living in a van in rural England ... More »


Goddess of Mercy (Yu Guanyin) ChinaUndercover cops don't have long careers in China's Yunnan province. In the border town of Nande, dope smugglers live by the rule that no witnesses means no trial ... More »

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