Ill and indigent, ex-policeman Song is under lock and key in a rehab centre. There he meets another human wreck whom he recognises as his old adversary Jagko. When he was an officer with the South Korean forces during the Korean War, Song arrested the guerrilla fighter, but Jagko quickly escaped. Song was demoted for losing his prisoner, triggering his inexorable downward spiral and an obsessive 30-year search for the fugitive. But Jagko did not fare much better after his escape … Korean director Im Kwon-taek, who was awarded an Honorary Golden Bear at the 2005 Berlinale, uses flashbacks to tell the story of an obsessive relationship. The film’s (anti-)heroes reflect the tragedy of their divided country. With forays into action scenes and placid landscapes, the narrative of an unforgiving struggle between two men moves towards its deadly conclusion. Im Kwon-taek uses picture-in-picture images of the emerging détente between the USA and the USSR to strip bare the incongruity of the Korean conflict and with that, Korean cinema said farewell to the Cold War.
Republic of Korea 1980
102’ · Colour · 2K DCP
International premiere of the digitally restored version in 2K DCP
Kim Hee-raChoi Yun-seokBang HeeKim Jeong-ranPark Ae-na
Korean Film Archive, Seoul
DCP: Korean Film Archive, Seoul