Archive of films Mother / Mother

South Korea
2009, 128 min

Section: Open Eyes
Year: 2009

Following the hits Barking Dogs Never Bite, Memories of Murder, and The Host, one of the new millennium’s most unique Korean filmmakers has turned in a highly intimate drama of a mother fighting to save her son. Hye-ja’s whole life revolves around her "little boy,” a 27-year-old man whose adult body imprisons a child. When her son is accused of a brutal murder, Hye-ja is the only one who believes him innocent.... The movie screened at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section.


Hye-ja is a mother. This is the most apt possible description because her whole life revolves around Do-joon. Although her son looks like an adult, he is a child inside, totally dependent on his mother’s love and care. Then one day Do-joon is accused of murder.... Bong Joon-ho is undoubtedly one of the most significant Asian directors working today. Undaunted by any genre, he brilliantly demolishes entrenched conventions, proving that he is a master of the spine-tingling detective tale, horror film, or comedy. Although Bong’s last film was seen by thirteen million Korean viewers, he will not let his career get bogged down with huge budget film spectaculars – thus he opted for a highly intimate drama. As he himself has said, he considers it a great challenge to shoot a film about a character whom we all know intimately – a mother. "Everyone has a mother, and everyone has a precise idea of what a mother is. This is the person that cherishes each of us most, who is the most gentle to us, and the most irritating.... The figure of the mother has been seen before, it’s very banal, but I see this as a new approach, and I hope it will be perceived that way.” Bong’s brilliant film was among the jewels of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section.

About the director

Bong Joon-ho (b. 1969, Seoul, South Korea) studied sociology and graduated from the Korean Film Academy. After shooting three short films, he debuted with the feature Barking Dogs Never Bite (Peullandaseueui gae, 2000). Although the film went fairly unnoticed at domestic cinemas, at foreign festivals there was talk of a talent to be reckoned with. His next film, Memories of Murder (Sarinui chueok, 2003), was presented in the Another View section at the 2004 KVIFF. Soon even at home the director entered the ranks of the most vital and original Korean directors of the new millennium. His third film, The Host (Goimool, 2006), today holds a top position on the list of domestic box-office successes, and the movie’s foreign engagements (festival and distribution) numbered in the dozens. Bong’s films competently combine generic constructs with social and political realities.


CJ Entertainment Inc.
2nd Fl., 602 Shinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, 135 893, Seoul
Korea (Republic of)
Tel: +82 237 184 70
Fax: +82 220 171 241

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Open Eyes
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Screenplay: Bong Joon-ho, Park Eun-kyo
Dir. of Photography: Hong Kyung-pyo
Music: Lee Byeong-woo
Editor: Bong Joon-ho
Producer: Seo Woo-sik, Park Tae-joon
Production: Barunson
Cast: Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin
Contact: CJ Entertainment Inc.

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