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South Korea, 2002 (MIFF 2003, Regional Focus)

Director: Lee Chang-dong

Oasis won four awards at the 2002 Venice Film Festival, including Best Director and a FIPRESCI award 'for the audacity and courage of its imaginative exploration of the difficulties of communication, and for its remarkable actors.' A huge box-office success in its home country, Oasis is a film to captivate and provoke the imagination.

Jong-du spent time in jail for vehicular manslaughter, a crime actually committed by his brother. Upon release, he visits the family who experienced the loss and falls for the daughter of the household, Gong-yu, who suffers from cerebal palsy. Both Jong-du and Gong-yu have obnoxious, manipulative families and society as a whole rejects and disdains them. Their relationship begins in a troubling fashion, however, the two outsiders' gradual understanding of each other exposes the emotional and moral bankruptcy of a society that deem them incapable, and unworthy, of love. As director Lee Chang-dong succinctly states, "Love becomes even more tragic and aching when it takes a form that the world fails to recognise as love." Oasis is emotional and direct. Screened in Critics' Week at Cannes this year.

See also...


Winner of the Best Screenplay prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival. ... Filmmaker Lee Chang-dong (Secret Sunshine, MIFF 08; Oasis, MIFF 03) continues his tradition of razor-sharp social critique ... More »


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