Kim's Daughters (Gimyakguk-ui ttaldeul) (1963)|
Director : Yoo Hyeon-Mok
Production Company : Keuk Dong Entertainment
Date of Rate : 1963-05-01
Running Time : 97 min.
Opening Theater : Kukje Theater
Genre : Melodrama
Writer : Park Kyeong-Ri
Screenplay(Adaptation) : Yoo Han-Cheol
Producer : Cha Tae-Jin
Executive Producer : Ma Won-Il
Director of PhotoGraphy : Byeon In-Jib
Gaffer : Park Jin-Su
Music : Kim Seong-Tae
Art Director : Lee Bong-Sun
Editor : Yoo Hyeon-Mok
Sound/Recording : Lee Kyeong-Sun
Kim Dong-Won, Eom Aeng-Ran, Choi Ji-Hee, Lee Min-Ja, Hwang Jeong-Sun
Kim's Daughters is set in pre-liberation Tongyeong, in Gyeongsangnam-do. Kim Yak-guk (Kim Dong-won), whose family has been steadily falling into ruin since Korea opened its ports to foreign trade, has four daughters. He intends to marry his third daughter Yong-ran (Choi Ji-hee) to a young man (Park Nou-sik) who helps out with the fishing, but Yong-ran is already involved with the family servant Han-dol (Hwang Hae). While meeting secretly at night, the two lovers are discovered by Kim, led there by his second daughter Yong-bin (Um Aing-ran). Han-dol is kicked out of the household and Yong-ran is married off to Yeon-hak (Heo Jang-kang), a sexually impotent tyrant. One day, Han-dol returns. Yong-ran and Han-dol are in room together when Yeon-hak barges in on them. Crazed with jealousy, Yeon-hak kills Han-dol and Yong-ran's mother (Hwang Jung-seun) as she tries to stop him. Yong-ran goes mad from the shock. Walking along the road, she sees her sister Yong-bin. She cries, "You killed Han-dol!" and rushes at her, but falls into the water by mistake and drowns. Yong-bin, a New Woman who has received a college education and converted to Christianity, was planning to leave Tongyeong to get away from her declining family, but she changes her mind and decides to remain in her hometown with freedom fighter Kang Geuk.
The most representative of Yoo Hyeon-mok's literary films.
One of the few films by director Yoo Hyeon-mok to feature women as the protagonists, Kim’s Daughters deals with the transition from the pre-modern to the modern period or, considered from the historical context of the time, the problem of modernization through the female genealogy of a single family. Unlike other family melodramas released at around the same time, Kim's Daughters recounts the interactions between a mother, rather than a father, and her daughters, unfolding a narrative focused on the maternal line of a traditional extended family. Above all, by contrasting Yong-ran, who is sacrificed by excessive sexual appetites, with Yong-bin, who continues the family line and thus acts as the son, the film depicts the two extreme lifestyles available to women during Korea's modernization. Yong-ran deviates from the sexual ideology of patriarchalism and pursues her own sexual desires, but she not only loses her sanity as a result but also indirectly causes her own mother's death. By contrast, Yong-bin, who is an intellectual and a Christian, is wise and rational. She is the only one who understands her father and with whom he discusses the large and small affairs of the household. At the close of Kim's Daughters, the now-crazy Yong-ran dies by drowning and Yong-bin ascends the hill with her fiance toward where her father stands waiting. This conclusion clearly illustrates what values patriarchal modernization demanded of women. In this respect, Kim’s Daughters sheds light on how the history of modernization and the history of women came into conflict (Kim Seon-ah). In representing the lives of women, the film vividly brings out each character by distributing its attention evenly across a wide range of women rather than focusing the narrative on a particular one. It also sustains the suspense till the very end by using grotesque scenes involving dreams and shamanism, and enlisting a murder scene that actively utilizes the conventions of the horror film. The finest actresses of the day, including Um Aing-ran, Choi Ji-hee, and Lee Min-ja, all joined the illustrious cast and showed off their respective acting chops.
Director Bio: Yoo Hyeon-mok (1925- )
He is the most prominent figure in Korean realist cinema and is considered the heir to director Lee Gyu-hwan's realistic nationalism. He realistically portrayed Korean society with Aimless Bullet (Obaltan) (1961), which is considered one of the greatest works in Korean cinema. His works include works which show a critical attitude toward society such as The Extra Mortals (Ing-yeo Ingan) (1964) and The Seizure of Life (Insaengcha-ab) (1958), and works which explore themes of God and salvation such as The Martyrs (Sungyoja) (1965) and Son of a Man (Salam-ui adeul) (1980). Aside from those works, he directed works in many genres including comedies, horror films, period films, melodramas, and anticommunist films. His other important works include Kim's Daughters (Gimyakguk-ui Ttaldeul) (1963), Descendants of Cain (Cain-ui Huye) (1968), Flame (Bulkkoch) (1975) and Rainy Days (Jangma) (1979).