The Bow (4 stars)

The Bow

(15) 89mins (Tartan/DVD retail)


Best known in Western audiences for Bad Guy, 3-Iron and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter . . . and Spring, enfant terrible Korean director Kim Ki-duk has some serious twisted form in Asian cinema. This one, like most of the others, comes recommended.

The tale of a 60-year-old man (Jeon Seong-hwang) who lives in seclusion on a fishing boat with his willing companion, a 16-year-old girl (Han Yeo-reum). The pair are sexless friends who sleep in different bunks, yet the old man counts off the days on his calendar until her 17th birthday, when she has agreed to marry him. That is, until a handsome young student (Seo Si-jeok) comes aboard and forces the girl to question her odd life.

It’s a unique story that makes a most abnormal relationship one of almost disquieting compassion. Told almost entirely through music and movement, yet – even with the thickly lain symbolism at the end – it’s an affecting parable. Extras include ‘making of’ featurette and original trailer.


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