The Isle (2000)



Critic Consensus: A compelling and oddly haunting combination of brutal and beautiful imagery.

Movie Info

Recalling both the erotic tension and the surrealist imagery of Woman of the Dunes, Kim Ki-duk's film is set near a remote lake where men come far and wide to fish on anchored rafts. Running a little bait-and-tackle shop is the earthy -- almost feral -- young lass Hee-jin (Seoh Jung), who sometimes sells herself for a price to horny fishermen. On one raft is the morose youth Hyun-shik (Kim Yu-seok), who Hee-jin has quietly taken a shine to after saving him from a suicide attempt. His ham-fisted advances are rejected, but after a second try at suicide, in which he puts fishing hooks in his mouth, she nurses him back to health. Soon, a freakily-intense relationship builds between the two in which the jealous Hee-jin starts to brutally dispatch with any competition. This film was screened at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Myung Film

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Jung Suh
as Hee-Jin
Yu-seok Kim
as Hyun-shik
Kim Yuh-suk
as Hyun-Shik
Jae Hyun Cho
as Mang-Chee
Jang Hang-seon
as Middle-Aged Man
Suh Jung
as Hee-Jin
Cho Jae-Hyung
as Mang-Chee
Jang Hang-Sun
as Middle-Aged Man
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Isle

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (10)

Spring, Summer fans should only have their appreciation of that film expanded by seeing this rougher take on similar themes.

Full Review… | May 21, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic

Beautiful, angry and sad, with a curious sick poetry, as if the Marquis de Sade had gone in for pastel landscapes.

Full Review… | January 31, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

There is little question that this is a serious work by an important director who has something new to say about how, in the flip-flop of courtship, we often reel in when we should be playing out.

January 16, 2003
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic

A gorgeous and grotesque Korean film by director Kim Ki-Duk, who seems torn by his artistic and exploitive impulses.

Full Review… | January 3, 2003
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Once [Kim] begins to overplay the shock tactics and bait-and-tackle metaphors, you may decide it's too high a price to pay for a shimmering picture postcard.

August 23, 2002
Top Critic

Daring, mesmerizing and exceedingly hard to forget.

August 23, 2002
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Isle

A mute woman who runs a fishing resort becomes obsessed with a suicidal fugitive hiding out in one of the floating cabins. A bizarre, perverted sadomasochistic love story in a unique setting; animal lovers may feel like boycotting this one, though.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

Kim Ki-duk serves up another dark and twisted love-story themed film set on a fishing lake where a mute woman and a man with a troubled past find attraction with eachother. The movie is very picturesque and beautiful to look at at times, then we have some rather unpleasant scenes that add the disturbing quality to it all. There's a couple of very nasty moments of self-harm involving fish hooks and moments of animal cruelty - fish mutilated, a drowning finch, a dog takes a beating and a frog gets ripped apart. I wouldn't really describe this as an erotic film at all, yes there are sex scenes but they are not romantic and the majority of them are done fully clothed without any titilation. The acting was very good all round, especially by the mute woman, a little bit more background on the male character would have been nice though. But I was really hooked from the start with this one despite the slowness of it all and the very little dialogue. I enjoyed it more than "Bad Guy".

Lee ?
Lee ?

Super Reviewer

Unforgettable quotes and dialogues... No, no, wait. The movie speaks volumes through its silence... Damn it. FML that I happen to stumble upon such films these days around.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

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