Monday, January 22, 2007

samaritan girl

I meant to post this days ago, but got lazy.

Samaritan Girl (Ki-duk Kim, 2004) - 10/10

*Contains Spoilers*

Just when I thought Kim Ki-duk couldn't create an almost masterful gem like Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring, I may have witnessed his best work so far in Samaritan Girl.

Samaritan Girl conveys two teenage girls, Jae-yeong (Yeo-reum Han) and Yeo-jin (Ji-min Kwak) who resort to prostitution to pay for their trip to Europe. While Jae-yeong sleeps with clients, Yeo-jin sets up clients and manages their income. During a police raid, Jae-yeoung forces herself out a window and plunges. Jae-yeong's death in a hospital bed, to the sorrow of Yeo-jin, has Yeo-jin tracking down previous clients. Yeo-jin sleeps with them in order to return the money they've earned, as a sort of retribution.

Yeo-jin's father witnesses her daughter one day with a client. In shock and disbelief, he tracks them down as a form of revenge -- without the knowledge of Yeo-jin -- eventually beating one to death. In the final moments of the film, we see a closer connection between Yeo-jin and her father. Yeo-jin's father realizing she knows her mistakes, and Yeo-jin realizing her father may know of the events.

Like all the other two Kim Ki-duk films I've seen (Spring, Summer...... and 3-Iron), Samaritan Girl works in a symbolic approach surrounding the quite unlikely realistic events. This is illustrated in the closing segments when Yeo-jin separates from her father -- the father is taken away for his crime -- and driven to a path of new life on her own.

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