MY MOTHER AND THE LODGER (1962) [Feature]

Korea (MIFF 1963 )
Director: Sang-ok Shin

In an isolated town, a lonely family lives in the so-called "widow's house". The family consists of Madam Chung-sook, Okhee, her six-year-old daughter, Okhee's grandmother, and the house-maid, Songhwan-taik. One day a guest from Seoul visits the house and becomes a lodger, and as the days pass Okhee comes to like him as if he was her father. Romantic notions come to Madam Chung-sook, even though she was brought up in a typically puritanic Korean home under the credo of "true wife dutiful to one husband".

But the old mores in the village frown on widows remarrying, and grandmother, a power in the family, is set against it. Scandal involving the maid complicates the issue. When all is cleared up and grandmother is half won around, the widow still finds it difficult to break with tradition and taboo. This, our first Korean film since the enchanting Wedding Day, has a pleasant feeling for character and situations, and some beguiling scenes with children. The theme is probably a pungent one in Korea but the scenes and atmosphere make it of interest anywhere. Award: "Best Dramatic Film", Asian Festival.

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