• 12
  • Lee Chang-dong (2010)
  • S Kor (SUB)
  • 133 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

For those whose taste in cinema extends no further than the latest megabucks popcorn movie, this is probably one to avoid. For those, however, who appreciate that there's a world of cinema out there, this low-key South Korean drama is a little gem. Veteran actress Yoon Jung-Hee, who came out of retirement for the role, plays a 60-something grandmother faced with the twin traumas of the early signs of Alzheimer's and the involvement of her teenage grandson in the suicide of a schoolmate. She finds solace, strength and purpose in a poetry class run by her local cultural centre. Yoon's performance, nuanced and subtle, is superb, while the film is long and languid so adjustments and allowances must be made both for its pace and, at times, for its poetry. But the effort is well worth it.

Plot Summary

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.

Cast and crew


Yang Mija
Yoon Jung-hee
David Lee (2)
Mr Kang
Kim Hira
Kibum's father
Ahn Nae-Sang


Lee Chang-dong

Other Information

Korean +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Sexual references, brief swearing, sex scene.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 29 Jul 2011
Certificate 12
Arrow Film Distributors Ltd