If You Were Me 0+

(Yeo seot gae ui si seon), Jeong Jae-eun, Park Kwang-su, ParkChan -wook, Park Jin-pyo, Park Kwang-su, Yeo Kyun-dong, Yim Soon-rye, Korea 2003, Korean / English subtitles, 110 min

It’s an obvious truism that portmanteau features are always mixed bags, but this anthology of shorts by six leading Korean directors is more coherent than most – largely because it was made for the National Human Rights Commission, and so all but one of its episodes deals with a human rights issue. (The exception is Park Kwang-Su’s neat little car-park ghost story, made before the project picked up its focus.) Park Chan-wook (of Sympathy for Mr Vengeance) tackles racial prejudice and the economic exploitation of immigrant workers through the real-life story of a Nepalese woman in Korea. Jeong Jae-Eun (of Take Care of My Cat) tackles the plight of a paedophile released into the community. Yeo Kyun-Dong invites disabled actor Kim Moon-Joo to re-enact his most famous protest. And, in the two best episodes, Yim Soon-Rye (of Waikiki Brothers) goes for the engrained sexism of Korean men with superb wit and Park Jin-Pyo (of Too Young to Die) confronts the horror of children forced into oral surgery to improve their English-speaking ability. A welcome counter-balance to the blockbuster tendency in current Korean cinema.

 

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