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South Korea, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Beauty within the Beast – Kim Ki-Duk)

Director: Kim Ki-Duk

Reminiscent of the films of Japan's angry masters (Seijun Suzuki and Shohei Imamura in particular), Kim Ki-Duk has earned a reputation for his unflinching exploration of the sexually and emotionally perverse. The film is a wild ride through the scarred minds and bodies of Korean villagers living near a US airbase in the 1970s. A lonely woman living in a bus writes letters to a long departed GI who fathered her son. Every letter is returned 'address unknown'. Her son, Chang-guk, an object of violence and ridicule, can only find work with a sadistic dog butcher. Chang-guk finds himself caught in the middle of an exploitative relationship between a beautiful young girl with an eye injury and an emotionally mercenary American soldier. This seething menage a trois can only end in catastrophe.

Arresting and poetic, Address Unknown is imbued with awesome metaphorical power and the immediacy of human despair. Kim Ki-Duk asks difficult questions about Korea's colonised consciousness.

"There are certainly some powerful images here, images that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled." - Hollywood Reporter

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