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Power of Kangwon Province, The

Gangwondo-ui Him

Director Hong Sang-Soo’s film traces the separate wanderings of a man and a woman who have recently decided to end their covert affair. As they travel through the mountainous eastern province of Korea known as Kangwon, their paths narrowly avoid intersection in a manner reminiscent of the work of Krzysztof Kieslowski. Towards the end of the movie they do meet again, but the encounter does not produce in them or the viewer a sense of resolution; it is left to the film’s form to provide a sense of closure to the work.

Hong’s style comes across as honest and direct. He uses only ambient noise and dialogue for his soundtrack and makes extensive use of long takes. One of the best Korean films of recent years, The Power of Kangwon Province was shown in the prestigious Un Certain Regard section of the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.

South Korea, 1998.
English subtitles.
Colour.
Dolby stereo SR.
109 mins.

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