The film takes place on a boat floating on an unnamed ocean, on which lives an old man and a young girl. The old man plans to marry the girl, who he supposedly found some ten years earlier, and who has never left the boat, as soon as she turns seventeen. It is a date the old man eagerly awaits, even counting down the days on a calendar. The old man’s other prize possession is a bow, with which he protects the girl, as well as using it as a musical instrument. The two make money by hosting fishermen, and by telling their fortunes using the strange method of the old man shooting arrows at the girl as she swings in front of what appears to be a Buddhist painting on the side of the boat. Their idyllic existence is troubled by the appearance of a young man, who falls in love with the girl and accuses the old man of keeping her prisoner. Slowly, the girl starts to assert herself, and as the wedding day draws near, tensions mount and confrontation appears inevitable.
Celebrated Korean director Kim Ki-duk’s tale of lust and fate.
One of the most controversial Korean directors, Kim Ki-duk is a self-taught filmmaker who prides himself on his outsider status, openly setting himself apart from contemporaries like Hong Sang-soo and Lee Chang-dong, who he considers too intellectual. Kim’s films have drawn vitriol for their subject matter and praise for their technique, and he has often been compared to his predecessor Kim Ki-young, who was also self-taught and whose films bear a much less brutal, but equally eccentric, personal stamp. Born in a mountainous village, Kim moved with his family to Seoul at the age of nine. During his teenage years he dropped out of school and worked in factories, and at the age of 20, he began a five-year stint in the marines, the toughest and most demanding branch of the Korean military. These early experiences would inspire the gritty milieu and dim view of human relationships that characterize his films. A painter since childhood, Kim went to France in 1990, where he studied art and… read more
maybe too drifting for its own good. strange in its desire to be detached like kim's other, more reflective films, with a plot that really can't do so. possibly one of kim ki duk's greater efforts to be more "korean" in his characters and his themes - something about buddhism - but i mean it's not like it mattered in the end