Skip to main content

MUSA: THE WARRIOR

South Korea, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Regional Focus)

Director: Kim Sung Su

1375 and China is in chaos: the Ming Dynasty has seized power from the Yuan. Korea's ancient government sends a delegation of diplomats and soldiers to China to pledge peace. Ambushed and exiled to the desert to die, the delegation survivors resolve to make it back to their homeland as a matter of honour. Their treacherous trek frames a torrid romance between the Korean commander and a Ming princess (Zhang Ziyi, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) saved from slaughter.

Inspired by Kurosawa and Peckinpah, director Kim Sung Su choreographs his action with The Wild Bunch and Kagemusha in mind, some scenes even rivalling the opening salvo of Saving Private Ryan. From combat to silk-shrouded seduction scenes, Musa: The Warrior exudes sophistication.

Kim Sung Su directed his first short, Dead End, in 1993. He followed with three features - Runaway (1996), Beat (1997) and Our Sunny Days (1999) - before Musa: The Warrior.

See also...

RAY BANG

Part screwball comedy, part social commentary, Ray Bang is both a great deal of fun and a warm meditation on the hopes and dreams of a trio of deadbeat cab drivers. Hak-Rak contends with a wife ... More »

LOOKING FOR BRUCE LEE

Looking For Bruce Lee is a post-millennium, spiky Korean Hard Day's Night, revolving around real-life band Crying Nut (Korea's most successful punk act) and their often futile attempts to understand ... More »

CAMEL(S)

A man and a woman, having once met in the pharmacy where the woman works, drive to a hotel in a small seaside town near Seoul. Only on the way does the man ask the woman her name. Each has their own ... More »

BITTERSWEET LIFE, A

“Even by Korean standards of movie brutality, A Bittersweet Life raises the bar to a new level… will have genre fans nailed to their seats” - Variety ... A tour de force of noir-ish style ... More »

TURNING GATE

Out-of-work actor Gyung-soo flees to a popular country town to visit a former schoolmate, now writer, Seong-wu. Soon upon arrival, he has a brief, intense fling with a dance instructor Myung-sook ... More »

TELL ME SOMETHING

An ingenious and sadistic murderer has left a jigsaw puzzle as a clue for the police. The problem is that the pieces in the puzzle are human body parts, and not always from the same person! All of ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director