2003 104 mins
Subtitles : French
« Captive par ses ruptures de tons déstabilisantes, de la bouffonnerie à la mélancolie » – Samuel Douhaire, LIBÉRATION
« À la fois un drame érotique captivant et un constat implacable de la société sud-coréenne » – Eric Fontaine, FILMS DE CULTE
From the outside, one might see former professional dancer Ho-jeong’s marriage to successful lawyer Yeong-jak as idyllic. The nice home, the good food, the adopted son to dote on — the couple are the very picture of perfection among the modern Korean bourgeoisie. But as one might suspect, all is not well in this household. The couple’s sex life is miserable, entirely unsatisfying for either. Unsurprisingly, Yeong-jak has a secret mistress, a young artist. Ho-jeong meanwhile has a secret admirer, a horny teenage peeping tom. She’s gradually drawn to the idea of capitalizing on the lad’s obsession. Infidelity, it turns out, is a family tradition, as revelations about Yeong-jak’s father and stepmother come to light. When Yeong-jak has a road accident while, shall we say, distracted by his girlfriend’s intimate attentions, the furtive pursuit of pleasure begins to have wider and more serious consequences...
An erotically charged drama laced with loads of dark humour and several shocking moments, UNE FEMME CORÉENNE
is a shrewd and unabashed examination of the wide gap between social expectations and personal fulfilment. The themes are universal, though the specifics are distinctly South Korean, and a priority is placed on the woman’s perspective and agency. The film comes care of Im Sang-soo, a director and screenwriter who takes particular delight in poking sociological hornet nests, and does so with wit and incisive accuracy. UNE FEMME CORÉENNE
was an early profile-raiser for Hwang Jung-min, one of South Korea’s leading screen actors, but the main attraction is Moon So-ri, whose nuanced, potently libidinal performance proved an award magnet and remains pertinent to this day. – Rupert Bottenberg