In the provocative second film by the maker of the imposing The Journals of Musan, Park’s fury is again tangible as he examines the fate of those at the bottom of South Korea’s social ladder. Jeong-Cheol, a building labourer in the mountainous province of Gangwon, takes care of his niece and his mentally unstable sister. He sets to work at a failing farm where soya-bean curd is made, but the bitter winter starts to take its toll and a fungus hits the fermented soya. From here on in, it’s a downward spiral.
Director and scriptwriter Park himself plays the lead in this hypnotic descent into desolation, in which a man tries to survive while maintaining his humanity. Despair is juxtaposed with moments of well-chosen surrealism, captured in beautifully choreographed shots. And somewhere, the possibility of a friendly gesture lurks. Alive is a dark film, but not cynical.

Original title
Sanda
Filmmaker
Park Jungbum
Country
South Korea
Year
2014
Medium
DCP
Length
175’
Language
Korean
Producer
Jay Jeong
Production Company
Secondwind Film
Sales
Finecut Co, Ltd
Writer
Park Jungbum
Cinematography
Kim Jong-Sun
Editor
Jo Hyun-Ju
Sound Design
Jin Dong-Hoon, Kim Hyun-Sang
Music
Park In-Young
Cast
Park Jungbum, Lee Seung-Yeon
Website
http://koreanfilm.or.kr/jsp/films/index/filmsView.jsp?movieCd=20148449