Top 25 Korean Films - No. 20

Aimless Bullet (Dir. Yu Hyun-mok, 1961)

An acutely socially aware film noir that has resonated with audiences for over five decades, Yu Hyun-mok’s seminal masterpiece Aimless Bullet was Korea’s answer to Italian Neorealism. Made in a time when Korean films only cautiously sought to highlight the harsh realities of a young and confused South Korean nation, Yu’s work frequently figures near or at the very top of polls ranking the best Korean films of all time.

Were it not for a brief period in the early 1960s, when censorship was relaxed in the midst of a changing political climate, Aimless Bullet would likely never have been made. The film was initially banned on its release but once it did see the light of day its impact was tremendous and it quickly influenced how other Korean filmmakers approached their texts. Rightly considered the peak of Korea realist cinema.

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