Memories of Murder

  • 127'
  • South Korea
  • 2003
In the countryside, not far from Seoul, between 1986 and 1991 a murderer and rapist was active. It was the first 'recorded' serial killer in Korea. About these still unsolved crimes, Bong Joon-Ho (Barking Dogs Never Bite) made the black comedy Memories of Murder, that was one of the largest cinema hits in South Korea in the last year. Bong's attention is not so much focused on the murderer, as on the men who have to catch him. The local police, led by the bruiser Park, use unorthodox and unacceptable means to try and get concessions out of the obvious suspects. The arrival of the routined, methodical big-city detective Seo of course leads to conflicts within the police force. With a fresh gallows humour, Memories of Murder keeps wrong footing the viewer, as if the characters are resisting their own clichés. They are all antiheroes, who are powerless through the context of their investigations: the dictatorial and military state of South Korea of the 1980s when oppression is a regular part of life and which is petrified in the idea of the Cold War. The result is a drama with a moving and shocking undertone, that smoothly changes in tone: from comedy to psychological detective to socio-historic document. But above all, Bong's second feature is funny and exciting.
Bong Joon Ho
Country of production
South Korea
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2004
International title
Sarin ui chu-eok
Sidus FNH Corp.
CJ Entertainment
Bong Joon Ho
Local Distributor
A-Film Distribution