Poetry

Directed by Lee Chang-dong

Synopsis

A sixty-something woman, faced with a crippling medical diagnosis and the discovery of a heinous family crime, finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class. Lee Chang-dong's follow-up to his acclaimed Secret Sunshine is a masterful study of the subtle empowerment — and moral compass — of an elderly woman.

Film Info

Release Year: 2010
Running Time: 139
Color Type: Color
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean with optional English subtitles

Winner of the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival, Poetry is an "achingly exquisite portrait" (Philadelphia Inquirer) of a woman's brave fight against Alzheimer's, and against her guilt over a relative's brutal crime.

This highly acclaimed Korean drama (100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) showcases a performance of "surpassing delicacy" (Los Angeles Times) by Yun Jung-hee, who was voted as her country's greatest actress in a public poll. She plays Mija, an aging part-time maid and full-time guardian of her apathetic grandson. Concerned by her frequent forgetfulness, she takes a poetry class at the local arts center to sharpen her mind. She begins to appreciate the wonders of the natural world, but a schoolgirl's suicide initiates a chain of tragic events that will change her life forever.

Directed with skill and subtlety by Lee Chang-dong (Secret Sunshine), Poetry is a "nearly perfect movie" (Boston Globe) about the power of art to bear witness to both sublime beauty and the violent truths that lie hidden in the hearts of men.

Cast

    Lee David (Wook)
    Yun Jung-hee (Mija)

Crew

  • Directed by Lee Chang-dong
  • Written by Lee Chang-dong

Festivals / Awards

Official Selection: Cannes (Best Screenplay), Telluride, Toronto, New York

Reviews

"An extraordinary vision of human empathy." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

"Grade: A. Exquisite." - Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"Beautiful and moving...A masterpiece." - Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com

Trailer

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Photos

  • Director Lee Chang-dong
    • Yun Jung-hee
      • Yun Jung-hee
        • Yun Jung-hee
          • Yun Jung-hee
            • Yun Jung-hee