Lee Chang-dong is one hell of a filmmaker and has a handful of awards to prove it. His latest film, “Poetry,” was awarded Best Screenplay at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival along with Best Actress and Best Picture at the Grand Bell Awards. The film also took home Best Directing and Best Actress at the 2010 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
The film follows a grandmother in her 60s struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and her crime-addicted grandson. To cope, she turns to writing poetry. Yoon Jeong-hee, in her first performance in over 16 years, stars in the award-winning lead role that director Lee Chang-dong wrote specifically with her in mind. The actress was an icon of Korean cinema during the ’60s and ’70s, starring in over 300 films. Her previous role on the big screen was in the 1994 film “Manmubang”.
Although acquired last May by Kino International, the film is only finally hitting shores stateside this year. As with his other films, the trailer is riveting though looks to be emotionally exhausting. Decide for yourself when “Poetry” hits U.S. theaters in limited release on February 11th. Synopsis and trailer below (or watch in HD at Apple).
A sixty-something woman, faced with the discovery of a heinous family crime, finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class. Lee Chang-dong’s follow-up to his acclaimed SECRET SUNSHINE is a masterful study of the subtle empowerment — and moral compass — of an indefatigable older woman.