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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.

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