Cinematheque KOFA

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Director : Im Kwon-taek
2002 116min 35mm
It is 1850’s, and Kim Byeong-mun saves young Seung-eop who was getting beaten by beggars near the beggars’ village. Seung-eop explains why he was being beaten, and shows him a painting. Scholar Kim did not take part in the muddy politics, and dreamt of a new society. He immediately recognizes the young boy’s gift. 5 years later he meets Seung-eop again, and this time he introduces him to Lee Eung-heon, an intellectual and a royal interpreter. He gives Seung-eop the penname of Owon, and becomes Seung-eop’s life-long mentor and supporter. Seung-eop was a fortunate man. While living as a farmhand in Lee Eung-heon’s house, he acquires an eye for art, and falls in love with So-un, Lee Eung-heon’s younger sister. But their love comes to an end when So-un is forced to marry according to the family’s bidding. He was starting to get recognition as an artist when he hears that So-un is dying and wishes for his painting, and rushes to see her. He has gained more fame when he meets Mae-hyang, the daughter of a collapsed noble family. Her family had converted to Christianity, which was strictly forbidden in those times. She had become a gisaeng after her family’s downfall. He is mesmerized by the sound of her playing a reed instrument. Their love grows, but as the oppression of Christianity continues, they part then meet again twice. Mae-hyang is the woman who led him to the path of enlightenment. Seung-eop loved to drink, and painted in high spirits when he was drunk. He realizes his nat
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