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South Korea, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Regional Focus)

Director: Bong Joon-ho

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 his way into a professorship, is driven to distraction by a yapping dog somewhere in his apartment block. The action he takes in dealing with the offending mutt is one that will come to haunt him. The characters in this doggie drama fall into two camps; those that love dogs-like the kind-hearted girl at the local shop and the lecturer's pregnant wife-juxtaposed against those that don't - like the old janitor who sneaks into the basement to cook up stews made from unfortunate pets. The film's composition and aesthetic are particularly striking, addressing social issues like the rampant corruption in the Korean higher education system and the unspoken social stratification implied by mere ownership of a dog Barking Dogs Never Bite won the Grand Jury Prize and Excellence In Editing Award at Slamdance Film Festival 2001.

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