‘Han Gong-ju’ to screen with English subtitles
However, the film by Lee Su-jin seemed to hit a chord with worldwide audiences and locals. It pulled in more than 200,000 admissions in less than a month in Korea and is still screening at selected theaters.
Yet despite the critical acclaim it garnered and the awards it picked up at film festivals around the world, “Han Gong-ju” was previously available only in Korean.
But for the duration of this month, “Han Gong-ju” will be shown with English subtitles at Indie Plus, a cinema in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul.
This is quite a feat for an independent film, as these movies tend to have trouble pulling in domestic viewers as it is.
“Han Gong-ju” is based on the infamous Miryang case of 2004, where a 14-year-old girl was repeatedly raped by around 41 high school boys over the course of a year.
Newbie actress Chun Woo-hee plays Han, the victim who soldiers on after the traumatic event.
As well as portraying the chilling malice of the perpetrators, the film showcases the indifference shown by third parties, as well as how Koreans view rape victims.
Rather than focusing on how such a crime was committed, Lee said he wanted to ask the viewers a simple question through his film: “If victims like that turned up in my life, what could I offer them?”
To date, “Han Gong-ju” has won the Grand Prize at the Fribourg International Film Festival, as well as awards from the Deauville Asian Film Festival, the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Busan International Film Festival.
Ticket prices are 7,000 won ($6). Call (02) 3447-0659 or go to www.indieplus.or.kr.
BY CARLA SUNWOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]