The Seashore Village

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London Korean Film Festival

A beautiful fishing village is home to a community of widows who have lost their loved ones at sea. We follow the daily routine of Haesoon, whose husband has recently disappeared during a fishing trip only a week into their marriage. Beset by misfortune, Haesoon survives thanks to her natural toughness, the support of her female companions and elderly mother-in-law, as well as the restorative sound of the waves. Through dazzling long shots, Kim Soo-yong brings the sublime landscape to life. The power of the sea and the mountains frames the story, with human life and tragedy playing out as part of the wider narrative of the natural world. Women here are fierce, and yet care for and support each other. Their bond made more resolute through their shared sufferings, we witness an intense yet playful intimacy emerging between them.

Based on the 1953 novel by Oh Young-soo, The Seashore Village was one of the earliest successful munye (literary adaptation) films, a genre which would come to define much of South Korean cinema during the 1960s. Kim Soo-yong directed an astonishing 109 films between 1958 and his retirement in 1999, and during his most active period in the 1960s, regularly made several films a year. His 34th feature, The Seashore Village, was a collaboration with Ho Hyun-chan – producer of the legendary, now lost Late Autumn (1966) with Lee Man-hee – and honours the power of female compassion to overcome tragic circumstances.

Followed by a Q&A with director

BBFC rating
Running time
91 mins
South Korea
Other features
Kim Soo-yong
Shin Young-kyun, Ko Eun-ah, Lee Min-ja

Book tickets

November 1st

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