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South Korea, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Strange New Worlds)

Director: Moon Seung-Wook

In an unknown Korean city in the near future, a desperate woman named Anna arrives in search of the rumoured 'oblivion virus', a bug with the fortunate side effect of erasing painful memories. Outbreaks of the virus are tracked and willing victims embrace blissful amnesia.

Although relying on a simple sci-fi premise, the film is a triumph of imagination over gimmicks and gadgetry. The film's concerns are entirely human and the protagonists' emotions are firmly rooted in the here-and-now. The film is a social allegory neatly explained by director Moon Seung-Wook: "The way we are modernising ourselves in Asia is a way of forcing ourselves to forget the past. We are collectively paralysed by unknown pains and nihilism in the same way that individuals are possessed by amnesia."

In 1998 Moon Seung-Wook (born in Seoul, 1968) graduated from the National Academy of Film in Lodz, Poland. Moon has made several short films including Mother (1994) and The Old Airplane (1995); this is his second feature after Taekwondo (1997).

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