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소원 | Lee Joon-ik, 2013
South Korea | Korean with English subtitles | Format: DCP | 123 minutes
North American Premiere
Q&A with actor Sol Kyung-gu
Inspired by a horrifying case of child rape some five years ago in South Korea, Hope brings a fresh approach to a difficult subject matter, and by focusing on the victim’s recovery, ultimately delivers technically flawless feel-good human drama, guided by the steady hand of producer-director Lee Joon-ik (King and the Clown). Anchored by veteran actors Sol Kyung-gu and Uhm Ji-won as the child’s parents and Kim Hae-suk as a child-abuse specialist, the film’s breakthrough performance comes from Lee Re (7 at the time of filming), as the 8-year-old victim who is considerably more mature in many respects than her elders. Lee’s cool, assured directing often keeps Hope from becoming too melodramatic for its own good. The real-life event, known as the Na-yeong Case, took place in December 2008. It also involved an 8-year-old girl, and the serial offender getting off lightly with a 12-year sentence that sparked public outrage. Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Service in New York.