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2,731 Ratings

The Housemaid

Hanyo | 하녀 | Hanyeo

Directed by Kim Ki-young
South Korea, 1960
Crime, Drama, Horror


Piano composer Dong-sik and his pregnant wife need extra help around the house, so they hire a housemaid, whose precociousness soon gives way to troubling behavior. Tensions between her and Dong-sik lead to an affair, and the pregnancy ends in a miscarriage.

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The Housemaid Directed by Kim Ki-young
Kim ironizes South Korea’s consumerism with blunt, at times outrageous wit, as Bong does. And like Bong’s prize-winner, Kim’s masterpiece evinces moral ambivalence: a fallen husband too eager to purge his guilt, a wife whose self-abnegation makes her—depending on how you see her—a martyr or a despot.
August 02, 2019
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1960’s The Housemaid reappeared out of nowhere about a decade ago and revealed its director, Kim Ki-Young, as a forgotten visionary, with a style aptly described as Sirk on acid. To reveal much about this movie’s demented, absurdist plot would be a disservice, as it’s the kind of thing best experienced cold…
January 08, 2014
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Formally quite radical, the film jumps perspectives, breaks the fourth wall, and just generally disregards conventional rules of storytelling. And it’s all the more exciting for this restless, near-baroque approach to narrative, a impulse that wouldn’t reach the States for a number of years…
December 18, 2013
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