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family, a

South Korea, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Regional Focus)

Director: Lee Jung-chul

Ju-seok returns home after spending three years in jail for pickpocketing. She has always had a hostile relationship with her widowed father, a former cop whose job was revoked when he lost the sight of one eye, and who brought up Ju-seok and her younger brother alone. Jeong-eun has long been disapproving of his daughter's wilful and increasingly illicit behaviour, and Ju-seok feels constrained by her father's judgements. Theirs is an estranged relationship played out through simmering, inarticulate emotions. Ju-seok has become embroiled with a local gang and has a debt she cannot repay. With little choice, she agrees to murder a cop to acquit the debt. Unable to see his daughter sell her soul, Jeong-eun resolves to carry out the murder. A finely tuned family drama operating in the territory of the crime thriller, [A Family] is a searing portrait of ineffable love and self-sacrifice. It is an astounding debut feature by Lee Jung-chul, and singles him out as a talent to watch out for.
D/S Lee Jung-chul P Hwang Woo-hyun WS E Tube Entertainment L Korean w/English subtitles TD 35mm/col/2004/94mins Lee Jung-chul was born in 1969. His films are [Sometimes Somewhere] (1993, short), [Bichunmoo] (2000, short).

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