Archive of films The Treacherous / Ganshin

South Korea
2015, 124 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2015

King Yeonsan-gun is considered one of the cruelest rulers of Korea’s Joseon dynasty. He carried out several bloody purges, and thousands of girls were forced to submit to his perverse lust. A historical epic on a tyrant, his advisors, and a woman who’s out for revenge.


After avenging the death of his mother, Prince Jonsan goes mad and becomes a tyrant. He has young girls kidnapped from all the provinces so they can become his concubines. Simple village girls as well as the daughters of disobedient ministers, all of them have to undergo instruction in sexual practices and are subjected to a degrading series of tests that only one of them will pass – the one who will give birth to the king’s heirs. But in reality this depraved ruler and his kingdom are controlled by his advisor and childhood friend Soong-jae, who desires social status for himself and his father. When he falls in love with one of the concubines he is regarded as a traitor, and so the man who made the prince a king becomes the most important of the rebels. This visually opulent and epic story about the lust for power boasts a carefully constructed visual composition in which the classical tragedy of palace intrigue is combined with a study of passion and obsession. More than a crowd-pleasing costume drama, the film is, above all, an original, sophisticated, and timeless story of love, jealousy and betrayal.

Nikola Paggio

About the director

Min Kyu-dong (b. 1970, Seoul, South Korea) first studied economics at Seoul National University and directing at the Korean Academy of Film Arts, followed by an MFA in cinematography and audiovisual studies at the University of Paris VIII. After the award-winning short film Eleven (1997), a shocking look at the life of Korean youth, he debuted in 1999 with the feature-length horror Memento Mori, one of the most intriguing films to come out of Korea’s vibrant 1990s cinema. His subsequent films such as All for Love (2005) and Antique (2008) were critical successes as well, and the romantic comedy All About My Wife (2012) was a box office hit, with more than four million tickets sold.


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, DCP
International premiere

Section: Horizons
Director: Min Kyu-dong
Screenplay: Lee Yun-sung, Min Kyu-dong 
Dir. of Photography: Park Hong-yeo
Music: Kim Jun-seong
Editor: Park Hong-yeol
Art Director: Lee Tae-hoon
Producer: Min Jin-soo
Production: Soo Film
Cast: Ju Ji-hoon, Kim Gang-woo, Lim Ji-yeon
Sales: Finecut Co., Ltd


Min Kyu-dong

Film Director


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