Archive of films Poetry / Shi

South Korea
2010, 139 min

Section: Six Close Encounters
Year: 2015

Kim Ki-duk presents

No longer young, Mi-ja still likes to dress nicely and her eccentric hats correspond to her fondness for beauty and poetry. Her interest in writing verse leads her to sign up for a poetry course. If not for an unpleasant incident involving her grandson, Mi-ja would continue living her modest satisfied life. The writer-director took Best Screenplay at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.


Mi-ja lives in a small country town with a river running through it. She’s over 60 but she looks young for her age and she likes to dress well. Her hats may seem a bit eccentric but they correspond to Mi-ja’s fondness for beauty and poetry. Her interest in writing verse leads her to enroll in a poetry course at the local community center, and she becomes a devoted student. Her new hobby doesn’t prevent her from making a living taking care of a disabled old man, and she also looks after an adolescent grandson who lives with her. He causes Mi-ja few problems, that is until it comes out that he’s mixed up in the suicide of one of his classmates. Mi-ja finds out that reality isn’t as beautiful as she’d like to believe. "What does it mean to write poetry in an age when poetry is dying?” asks director Lee Chang-dong, whose film garnered Best Screenplay at the Cannes festival in 2010. The character of Mi-ja, whose story was written by the filmmaker himself, was played by legendary 1960s Korean film star Yun Jung-hee, who returned to film after a long hiatus.

Eva Zaoralová

About the director

Lee Chang-dong (b. 1954, Daegu, South Korea) studied Korean language and literature. He won recognition as a writer, and in 1993 wrote the screenplay for the film To the Starry Island on which he also worked as assistant director to Park Kwang-su. He also helped write the screenplay for his next film A Single Spark (1995). His directorial debut came with Green Fish (1997, KVIFF 1998). His next work, Peppermint Candy (1999), took three awards at the Karlovy Vary IFF. Oasis (KVIFF 2003) had its international premiere at the 2002 Venice IFF where it received the Special Director’s Award, the Mastroianni Award for actress Moon So-ri, as well as the FIPRESCI Prize. Between 2002 and 2004 Lee Chang-dong was the Korean Minister of Culture. The film Poetry (2010) was screened at KVIFF, where the director was a member of the main jury.


Finecut Co., Ltd
Patio House #102 (Bldg. C), 22-14 Bongeunsa-ro 26-gil, Gangnam-gu, 135-907, Seoul
Korea (Republic of)
Tel: +82 256 987 77
Fax: +82 256 994 66

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Six Close Encounters
Director: Lee Chang-dong
Screenplay: Lee Chang-dong
Dir. of Photography: Kim Hyun-seok
Editor: Kim Hyun
Art Director: Sihn Jeom-hui
Producer: Lee Joon-dong
Production: Pinehouse Films
Cast: Yun Jung-hee, Lee David, Kim Hira, An Nae-sang
Sales: Finecut Co., Ltd

© 2020 FILM SERVIS FESTIVAL KARLOVY VARY, a.s. +420 221 411 011 All contacts

CinemasCinemas PartnersPartners
ProgramProgram About the projectAbout the project
HistoryHistory GalleryGallery
Festival DailyFestival Daily
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days July 5 - July 8Industry Days July 5 - July 8 ContactsContacts
VideogalleryVideogallery GalleryGallery
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide