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BICHUNMOO

South Korea, 2000 (MIFF 2003, Fu Fighters)

Director: Kim Young-jun

1343: China is under the rule of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. Young warrior Jin-ha, an apprentice in the art of Bichunmoo sword-fighting, meets a young girl named Sullie, the daughter of Mongol general Taruga. The pair grow increasingly close but Taruga wishes to forge a strategic alliance and promises his daughter to nobleman Namgung. When Jin-ha tries to stop Sullies betrothal he is, or so it appears, killed by Taruga's bodyguards. Thinking that her sweetheart is now dead, Sullie reluctantly agrees to the arranged marriage.

With the runaway international success of Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2000, the fantasy swordplay genre blossomed. Prior to MIFF 2001 blockbuster JSA, Bichunmoo was the most expensive Korean fiIm ever made. Based on a popular 80s Korean comic, the balletic fight sequences, stupendous visuals (including clever use of CGI) and a suitably stirring, epic storyline make Bichunmoo a wonderfully entertaining cinema expenence.

With conspiracies and plots intertwining, we discover that Jin-ha possesses the secret to the most powerful martial art of all. Determined to exact his revenge and reclaim his love, Jin-ha changes his identity and raises his own band of warriors who, like him, have the ability to glide through the air or even make enemies explode!

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FONG SAI YUK

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