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THE YELLOW SEA

THE YELLOW SEA

  • Directed by Na Hong-jin
  • Starring Ha Jung-woo, Kim Yoon-seok
  • as part of ‘STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND’
  • 2010 | 140mins | South Korea | (18)

Joseonjok (Korean Chinese) cab driver Gu-nam (Ha Jung-woo, The Chaser) lives a lonely existence in Yanjin, China. Plagued by gambling debts, a desperate Gu-nam is approached by local gangster Myun Jung-hak (Kim Yoon-seok, The Chaser) with the task of carrying out an assassination in Seoul, South Korea. When the hit job inevitably goes wrong, Gu-nam finds himself a fugitive of the law and a pawn in a cross-border gang war.


An epic odyssey divided into four chapters, The Yellow Sea explores the toxic hubris of men and the lengths to which this can manifest in the form of brutality against the flesh. Acclaimed director Na Hong-jin (The Chaser, The Wailing) paints a relentlessly bleak portrait of the world that devolves into farcical chaos where even a leftover steamed pork hog bone can become an instrument of destruction.


This screening is programmed by Choi Young Jin Eric, film curator at the Korean Film Archive, and Goh Taekyung, film cataloguer based in Seoul, South Korea. It is suggested as a complementary feature to The Good The Bad The Weird (Kim Jee-woon, 2008) under the theme of 'Strangers in a Strange Land.'


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‘STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND’


In The Good, The Bad, The Weird (Kim Jee-woon, 2008) and The Yellow Sea (Na Hong-jin, 2010), outlaws wage war against each other against the backdrop of an alien and unforgiving landscape of chaos. This mayhem is mirrored in the films' productions, which are notorious to this day for their gruelling shooting conditions, schedule overruns, and the relentless drive of an auteur determined to see his vision come to life no matter the cost. The end results are thrilling epics of genre cinema that embody a relentless kinetic energy enhanced by the theatrical experience.