Top 25 Korean Films - No. 19

Iodo (Dir. Kim Ki-young, 1977)

A dark film filled with rugged island vistas, Iodo is one of the more singular works of a director already known for being quite a ways from the mainstream as he experimented with form and genre. Austere and ominous, Kim Ki-young’s creepy island drama explores woman- and motherhood through the guise of shamanism and paranoia.

Entrancing and unsettling in equal measure, Iodo is a unique viewing experience that is also famous for one of the wildest sequences to ever be put to film in Korea. It is also one of three island dramas on this list that repositions affluent urbanites into poor rural settings. As with the others in the countdown, Iodo goes to great lengths to highlight the friction between modernity and traditionalism in a quickly evolving Korean society with an ever widening social chasm. Something that applies just as much today (if not more) than it did back in the 1970s.

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