The Journals Of Musan (2011)
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Director Park plays a North Korean defector trying to make an honest living in South Korea, where he is continuously faced with the harsh difficulties of fitting into capitalist society. This lonely introvert finds odd jobs in the city that often lead to pain and trouble, but he manages to hold on to some romantic curiosity-and to a fluffy dog who becomes his one reliable source of companionship. This meticulous, almost neorealist portrait hovers between observation and judgment, attachment and detachment, stoicism and sentimentalism, revealing a protagonist who is painfully flawed and fully human. -- (C) MoMA … More
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Critic Reviews for The Journals Of Musan
A journey through a world of moral and ethical conundrums makes a sobering couple of hours, and also a lively discussion afterwards for amateur Christian theologians.
Seungchul's rotisserie of pain is almost worth enduring just to get to the film's climax: the most knee-jerk tragedy in the world becomes, in Park's hands, one devastating bitter-victory lap.
By playing Seung-chul as extremely sullen, and by constantly calling attention to his disheveled appearance, Park also provokes viewers to blame the character for his own problems- and thus confront their similarity to the movie's hard-hearted citizens.
Eventually we learn that a haircut and a new suit don't make for a better man, which seems like a small lesson after what we've been through.
The film features one of the most beautifully directed scenes I've seen in a long time
If The Journals of Musan indicates anything, it's that people, for the most part, either can't or simply aren't willing to comprehend the circumstances behind others' actions.
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