My Heart

My Heart


Reviewed by: Symon Parsons

Nobody knows the sorrow of my heart, sings Sun-yi - the heroine of Bae Changho's beautiful epic set in 1920s Korea.

Her life is fraught with tragedy; forced to marry a ten-year-old boy when she is 16, it soon becomes clear that she is little more than a slave for his family. Sun-yi accepts this life as generations of Korean women have done before her.

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But when her husband grows up and brings home a woman he genuinely loves, she reacts not with jealousy but with a generousity of spirit that sends her out into the world on her own.

There, she finally receives love, first from the potter Duksoon (after a truly hilarious courtship) then from another young woman escaping from cruelty, Bok-nyuh and her baby son, Seuk-yi.

This is a striking film to look at, the Korean countryside shot in different seasons, beautifully complementing the unfolding story. The acting is also superb, especially by star and co-writer Kim Yoo-mee as a stoic woman, unafraid to love despite her knowledge of life's harshness.

It's a difficult task for any film to connect to its audience across language, culture and time barriers. My Heart is a lyrical and tender film that makes these boundaries evaporate, with its message that love will ultimately be rewarded with love.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Tragic story sees a woman recall her life.

Director: Bae Chang-ho

Writer: Bae Chang-ho, Kim Yoo-mee

Starring: Kim Yoo-mee, Kim Myung-kon, Yoon Yoo-sun, Nam Jung-hee

Year: 2000

Runtime: 114 minutes

Country: South Korea


EIFF 2000

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