Poetry (2010 133min.) [Film4 12.55am thursday &+1]
Drama starring Yoon Jung-hee. A woman's life is changed by two discoveries: first, that her forgetfulness is in fact the early stages of Alzheimer's; and second, by the revelation that her grandson has been involved in a terrible crime.
If films from Korea have had any recognition among western audiences in recent years it tends to be for either a) their horror films (especially ghost stories) which they do remarkably well or b) bloody and violent gangster thrillers (which they also do very well).
However, there is another side to Korean film making, of which Poetry is a fine example. A lyrical and moving study of an older woman who's attempting to redefine her place in the world following two debilitating discoveries.
Yoon Jung-Hee is dazzling in the lead role as the film slowly plays out her story of rediscovery through signing up for night school and a new found love of poetry.
Director Lee Chang-dong takes his time telling the story and allows scenes to develop and play out in a naturalistic way without resorting to flash camera work and editing, and the film is all the better for it.
A restrained but involving piece of work.