Disturbing yet rivetting
Jessica M. Crowe | Connecticut | 12/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie at the theater in France, with french subtitles. It was the most disturbing movie I've ever seen in my life. I also wouldnt recommend it for those with weak stomachs or for the faint of heart. That said, I'd really reccommend watching it. It's one of those movies that take the unbelieveable and make them real. The type where at first all you can say is "wow", but that afterwards you can discuss at length. I think I'll buy it to show my family."
Something quite different from Hollywood
Helen Kim | Seoul Korea (South) | 03/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Korean film is growing in many good ways, in ways that set it apart from the mindless tripe that comes out of Hollywood nowadays. "Address Unknown" is a film with a heavy message, a message about the civil war in Korea and how it had touched so many different people in horrific ways and how it still shapes the lives of people today. This is an incredibily violent film too. Many Hollywood-style thrillers have lots of guns and bombs, complete with macho he-men that grimace but this film portrays a level of slow, on-going violence that unmatched in Hollywood. Here, one finds the pain and rage of mixed-race children and their burdens, the petty, evil of dog-man and his debased sense of ethics, a sterotype of the American soldier who seems to never be quite right in his head or heart. One can find the moral degradation that haunts parts of Korea, due to the presence of the American military. True, they are there to protect South Korea but can they protect against the spiritual and moral decay from within?
This is the kind of film that can haunt and stay inside ones head for days afterwards, thus if one wants to see a very meaningful example of Korean cinematography, by all means see this film but be aware that this is one heavy piece of work that can leave a mark. Beware."
Phillip Royer | San Francisco | 07/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Address Unknown is about the occupants of a small town situated next to an American military base in the Korean countryside. Writer/Director Kim goes beyond mere indictment of American presence. He displays brother against brother (North vs. South) and calls into question the responses to it.
This one is probably for Kim Ki-Duk completists only. It is a remarkable film in its relentless presentation of pain. Every single scene in this 2 hour film involves pain, emotional or physical.
An American soldier pays for the surgery so a young Korean girl can regain the sight in her impotent, freaky looking right eye and then wants her to be his sweetheart in return, wink-wink. When she shows a little interest in the Korean boy who liked her just the way she was before the surgery, the American becomes incredulous and tries to hurt her but before he can she pokes her own eye out to erase her debt to the soldier. Meanwhile, the Korean boy who liked her just the way she was schemes to kill the two Korean boys who have been stealing his money and beating him up. When the girl looks freaky again and goes to express her love to the Korean boy, she finds him in jail for shooting the American soldier in the genitals with a bow and arrow.
That's only one of the subplots. I've seen a lot of films about pain and despair but none that have been so oppressively constant in their execution. This is a great film by one of the great contemporary directors but you need to be ready for it or you may be repulsed. It's not slasher film gross at all. The really dirty stuff, like hanging dogs from a tree and beating them to death with a baseball bat, is done off camera."