Kyung-min, a businessman, and Jong-suk, a failed writer, are former schoolmates. During a reunion dinner they look back on their school days, when a particularly cruel group of students, “the dogs”, exercised a reign of terror by hazing and bullying part of the other students, the “pigs”. One day, Kim Chul, one of their mates, stood up to the “dogs”, becoming the only hope of ending their tyranny. Fifteen years on, he remains a hero. But behind this figure, the two men recall the murky story of their bond. —Quinzaine des Réalisateurs
A Cannes Film Festival favourite from new-gun South Korean Yeon Sang-Ho, it's an unflinching take on class hierarchy and savagery in an inner city high school. Dangerous Minds meets Lord of the Flies? There are piggies abound, but the gangster terrains are far from paradisal. Read the full review here: http://theframeloop.com/2013/01/24/reviewpigs/
One measure of the film's ineffectiveness was the laughter elicited in many audience members at the NYAFF screening by the scenes of violent comeuppance delivered by Chul. Yeun wants KoP to address the ways in which persecuted groups seek vengeance and redemption by identifying with emergent heroic figures from within their own ranks, but the story he tells is too awkward and heavy-handed to do his theme justice.
So you judge a film's ineffectiveness by the laughter elicited in audience members? How about questioning those member's credibility instead of taking their reactions as the ultimate truth about the film's failures? I heard laughs at a screening of 'Vertigo'. So what? People are dumb.
Some people are dumb, no doubt about it. And I've been at plenty of screenings marred by giggling idiots with entitlement problems, so I know what you mean. But in this case the audience was made up of self-consciously hyper-serious fans of Asian cinema, and I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt -- however smart they were, they were on the film's side. Unfortunately, the film was unable to uphold its end of the bargain, stumbling pretty badly, despite the worthiest intentions, in the areas of storytelling, character-building, and thematic development.