Green Fish (초록 물고기) (1997)

  • May 18, 2024 | 2:00 PM - 3:50 PM | Saturday
  • Oldham Theatre


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4K Restoration
Director: Lee Chang-Dong
Language: Korean with English subtitles
Country: South Korea
Runtime: 111 min
Rating: NC16


BEST ACTOR (Han Suk-kyu)
BEST ACTRESS (Shim Hye-jin)
1997 Baeksang Arts Awards

BEST ACTOR (Han Suk-Kyu)
BEST ACTRESS (Shim Hye-jin)
BEST MUSIC (Lee Dong-jun)
1997 Grand Bell Awards

1997 Blue Dragon Film Awards


Having established himself as a novelist and thespian, Lee Chang-dong’s celebrated feature debut is a neo-noir that doubles as an incisive critique of social inequality and urbanisation of South Korea in the aftermath of a two-decade long military dictatorship. 

Revolving around a young man fresh off mandatory military duty, Mak-dong (Han Suk-kyu) returns to his rural hometown when he helps a woman Mi-ae (Shim Hye-jin) out on the train when she is harassed by some pestering thugs. One day, he visits her at a nightclub she sings at after she tracks him down to thank him, and he soon becomes unwittingly lured into an underworld of criminal gangs, finding himself in a dangerous love triangle with her boyfriend, the head of a local gang. Eschewing the romanticization of gangster films in favour of an austere focus on character interiority and the banality of everyday life, Green Fish is a tonally nuanced debut by one of Korea’s cinema masters and one of the peninsula’s harshest critics. 

Green Fish is part of the film programme Retrospective: Lee Chang Dong. For the full programme, please click here

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