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DISCOVERY: Sa-kwa

In Korean, Sa-kwa has a double meaning of 'apple' and 'sorry'. For first time director Kang Yi-Kwan, his film Sa-kwa plays on this double meaning following the relationship woes of a young woman, Hyun-Jung (Moon So-ri).

Hyun-Jung gets dumped by her longtime boyfriend only to quickly marry a gentleman who has pursued her relentlessly. But what exactly is the reason she married him for? Because she needed the attention he was willing to give her? To quiet the worries of her family? Does she actually love him, or was it just so she wouldn't end up alone? While Hyun-Jung makes the right decisions for herself at the time, her short-sightedness soon catches up in sacrifices, lies and selfishness.

What I liked about it was there was no real beginning and end. As life, this film is a snapshot of this woman's journey into coming to terms with maturing in her relationships. Where the film lacks, lead actress Moon So-ri (Oasis) picks it up. Regarded as the best actress in South Korea today, the film in the hands of a lesser seasoned professional may not have come across as emotionally genuine as it was.

Before its screening, director Kang Yi-Kwan in attendence, instructed the audience through his interpretor, to think about what kind of person you are when you watch this film. Perhaps my being in that mindset made me far more reflective and thereby appreciating her journey.

During the Q & A, Kang's inspiration for the film was derived from a night out drinking with his buddies. When they were younger, the topics included women and sex. Now older, the topics matured into how to keep relationships alive and how to hold them together.

A fine effort for first time director and brilliant performance from Moon So-ri.


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