Presented by Nongshim America INC,Korean Cultural Centre in Canada

Peppermint Candy (Bakha Satang)

Directed by Lee Chang-dong


Official selection

Karlovy Vary Int'l. Film Festival 2000
Cannes Film Festival 2000
BFI London Film Festival 2000
Chicago International Film Festival 2000


Special Jury Prize - Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2000

Best Film - Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Winner 2000


Lee Chang-dong


Lee Chang-dong


Sol Kyung-gu, Moon So-ri, Kim Yeo-jin


Film Movement

South Korea 1999 129 mins OV Korean Subtitles : English
Genre DramaClassique

Springtime of 1999. A group of friends gather for a picnic by the river for the first time in 20 years. A drunk, visibly distraught man named Yeong-ho (Sol Kyung-gu, OASIS) crashes the festivities, casting a sad, bitter shadow over the group. As he makes his way into the water, and onto a nearby railroad bridge, the gravity of the situation becomes increasingly clear: this man is intent on killing himself. As a train speeds towards him, we are privy to the key episodes of Yeong-ho’s life, from the late ’70s to the present.

Often deemed one of the greatest South Korean films of all time, Lee Chang-dong’s classic, novelistic breakthrough PEPPERMINT CANDY asks a simple yet fertile question: what breaks a man over a time? As one discovers Yeong-ho’s life in reverse through salient episodes of distress and self-realization, Lee ties the unraveling of his main character to the evolution of a country’s vision of itself. Throughout, key chapters of Yeong-ho’s life unfold against major turning points in South Korean history (whether the Gwangju Democratization Struggle that was violently suppressed by the military, the years of police brutality that ensued in the ’80s, or the 1997 Asian financial crisis that reshaped families and business across the region). This culminates in a frank, unblinking look at South Korea’s patriarchal institutions and the way they shape masculinity, toxic to the extent of obliterating the most banal of lives in due time. A multifaceted look at a country’s fractured male psyche, PEPPERMINT CANDY remains one of the peaks of South Korean cinema of the 1990s, leading it into the millennium. – Ariel Esteban Cayer