Chil-su and Man-su
Director: Park Kwang-Su
Cast: Ahn Sung-ki, Park Joong-hoon
108 mins, 1988
Perhaps the most iconic South Korean film of the 80’s, Park Kwang-Su’s debut feature is a landmark in the country’s cinema, and the starting point of Korean New Wave. Chil-Su is a playful and optimistic young man who instantly falls in love with Jin-Ah, a student working part time at the local Burger King. His rebellious spirit prompts him to quit his job and begin working with Man-Su, a down on his luck house painter.
Set with the backdrop of a repressive military government and the Americanisation of Korea, the film provides touching moments of levity and humanism as the two men struggle to exist and find their identity within working class society. There is a fantastic chemistry between the two leads, with Chil-su’s hopeful outlook contrasting with Man-su’s weariness. The film was shown at the 42nd Locarno International Film Festival and the 39th Berlin International Film Festival and has become one of the best remembered South Korean films of its era.