Monday, July 29, 2013

New Korean Films: Strong Women (2013 Week 30)

The Ring of Life

A boxer with promising talent has failed every time to qualify for the Olympics and eventually attempts suicide by self-immolation. Disabled but still alive, he devotes himself to being a coach and dreams of training the very first Olympic champion in women’s boxing. A 28 years-old scientist, who works in the most prestigious university in the country, stands as a candidate to him for a career change, while she has just successfully passed the official exams for civil service.

Such a synopsis sounds like a fictional scenario plagiarizing the concept of Million Dollar Baby, but it is actually a true story that is told through this documentary. This film therefore follows the intensive training sessions inflicted by Park Hyeon-seong, also a former mobster, to his students. It was not until the 2012 London Olympics that women finally got the right to their own boxing competition, a segregation that existed since the first modern Olympics. The film comes from a rookie director, Lee Jin-hyuk, and will be shown this weekend in 17 theaters, mainly in large cities.

Watch the Korean trailer here.

District 820
(군사통제구역 팔이공지대))

The 820th military base is located on the DMZ. A woman lieutenant and some battalions of soldiers spend the last day of their training there. A group of amateur photographers gets lost around the base and suddenly hears a gunshot. The military will then attempt to find an explanation to this incident.

The information on this independent production is almost non-existent, with the exception of a few still pictures of the cast. This is the debut feature of another rookie director, Goo Mo, and stars the actress Park Grina whose most notable film to date is The Way Back (2010). Opportunities to see this are extremely limited, as it will be offered to viewers only in two theaters, in Busan and Incheon.

No trailer made available on internet.

New Korean Films is a weekly feature which provide an in-depth look at new local releases in Korea. For film news, external reviews, and box office analysis, take a look at the Korean Box Office UpdateKorean Cinema News and the Weekly Korean Reviews, which appear weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings (Korean Standard Time). Reviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

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