Screenwriter Lee's debut feature offers a wry, regretful chunk of recent social history in the guise of a gangster drama. Makdong (Han) comes home from military service to find his family fragmented and their village razed to make way for a vast new housing development. He drifts back to the outer suburbs of Seoul and into the employ of a seemingly sympathetic gang boss (Moon), whose much-put-upon mistress (Shim) seems in need of a friend. But Makdong is hopelessly out of his depth, not realising that he's barging into a sado-masochistic relationship and misunderstanding the politics of inter-gang rivalry. Lee's sense of his characters as unwitting victims of the moral/economic/architectural climate they live in is anchored in brilliantly judged imagery and in an acute sensitivity to ambiguities of mood and feeling.
Cast and crew
Han Suk-Kyu Shim Hye-jin Moon Sung-Keun Myung Kye-Nam Song Kang-Ho