Fatal by Lee Don-Ku: a Korean counter movie

Here the counter-cinema comes, which means no famous names appear but ordinary ones that bet on performing the difference. “Fatal” by Lee Don-Ku is a good reason for having a closer look at excerpts of distant culture that build an ethical code on guilt and responsibility. However, the inevitable of the script could be shown from scratch instead of watching something predictable. Playing with time and movie scenes could attain better results perhaps in an after all interesting filmic approach that comes from South Korea.

The subject of the film regards the rape of a young girl, Jang-mi (Yan Jo-a), by a gang of youths who know each other. This fact is going to mark their lives, even though the boys act in a sense that life goes on. Among them, Sung-gong (Nam Yeon Woo) makes the difference because he feels guilty and needs to be forgiven for that night. His looking for Jang-mi’s life, as soon as they meet each other out of the blue, ten years later, in a church group, is constant. The lasting impression on spectators is that he is tortured by memory burden and wants to be released by telling the truth to Jang-mi. However, he shares nothing with her but some slight insinuations about his pain. When Jang-mi expresses herself in a night gathering, Sung-gong decides to become her voice of fulfilling her desire. The future is unknown and the end always near, to remember Jim Morrison. “Fatal” has a very powerful scene of night confession that leads to the end of the story, whilst the good interpretations are among the good points of the movie. Moreover, the crazy dreams of Sung-gong make us predict he is going to take Jang-mi’s role in order to punish her torturers as well as himself in an attempt to be excluded by his past and mind. It is a way to split his mind and soul from his body. However, what could be constructed better is the sequence of action. On the other hand, “Fatal” is worthy of note to open a dialogue regarding the way countries construct their profile and cultural codes through cinema and movie production.    

Also for Korean films:

19th Athens International Film Festival “Nychtes Premieras”

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