Director Su-Jin Lee
Music director Tae-seong Kim
Country South Korea
Screenplay Su-Jin Lee
Writer Su-jin Lee
|Release date October 4, 2013 (2013-10-04) (Busan International Film Festival)April 17, 2014 (2014-04-17) (South Korea)|
Cast Chun Woo-hee (Han Gong-Ju), Jung In-Sun (Eun-Hee), Kim So-Young (Hwa-Ok), Lee Young-Ran (Ms. Lee), Kwon Bum-Taek (chief of police substation), KimChoi Yong-Joon (Dong-Yoon)
Similar Thread of Lies, A Girl at My Door, Hope (2013 film)
As it traveled the international film festival circuit, Han Gong-ju won several top prizes, including the Golden Star at the 2013 Marrakech International Film Festival, the Tiger Award (given to films that "give young filmmakers a voice" and "push boundaries") at the 2014 International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the Jury Prize, the Critics' Prize, and the Audience Award at the 2014 Deauville Asian Film Festival.
The Rotterdam jury praised it as "a skillfully crafted and highly accomplished debut. Deviating from classicist structure, this film lures the spectator to participate in the pleasures of storytelling through an extraordinary and intricate narrative puzzle."
Han Gong-ju was released in theaters on April 17, 2014.
The film is a coming-of-age story about a high school student, the titular Han Gong-ju, who loses her friend after both become victims of a terrible gang rape incident and is pressured to leave her home and move to another school by the perpetrators' parents. To escape scandal, she finds herself living in the home of her former teacher's mother in a different city. After transferring to a new school, the withdrawn and traumatized Gong-ju keeps to herself and tries to move on from what happened. But she is befriended by Eun-hee, who convinces her to join an a cappella club. When news gets out of Gong-ju's new hobby, a group of parents of her former classmates causes a stir. Living with a stranger and cold to her new classmates, it takes a long time for Gong-ju's troubled past to catch up with her, but when it does the revelation is devastating.
Han Gong-ju was released on just over 200 screens (a sizeable exposure for a Korean independent film), and through strong word of mouth, it was a hit with critics and audiences. On its opening day on April 17, 2014, approximately 10,000 people watched the film, but this increased at an unprecedented pace, crossing the 100,000 admissions mark (an enormous benchmark for a Korean independent production) in just nine days, which was quicker than the pace of recent indie favorites, such as Breathless (2009) in 19 days and Bedevilled (2010) in ten. As of April 29, it reached the 150,000 audience mark, breaking the record of Jiseul (2013), which sold 140,490 tickets in 12 days.
By May 9, Han Gong-ju exceeded 200,000 viewers, making it one of the most successful Korean independent films of all time. Amid the opening of such large scale commercial films as The Fatal Encounter, The Target and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it continued to attract average audiences of 2,000 a day. At the end of its run, the film had a total of 223,297 admissions.
ReferencesHan Gong-ju Wikipedia
Han Gong-ju IMDb Han Gong-ju themoviedb.org