Director: Kim Ki-young
Cast: Kim Jin-kyu, Ju Jeung-ryu, Kim Bo-ae, Kim Dong-won
Film genre: Drama, Historical, Epics
Cert 18, 87 mins, 1963
Distributed by Kim Dong-won
Goryeojang is a term used to describe the mythical custom of abandoning one’s parents in the mountains once they reach old age. Kim Ki-young’s 1963 film of the same name is set in a famine-ravaged village that practises this custom; the film explores a variety of characters and their struggle for survival. The central character of the film is Gu-ryeong. Permanently injured as the result of a childhood accident, he endures ceaseless insults and ostracism. This makes for uncomfortable viewing for a contemporary audience, yet Kim does not shy away from the brutal and grotesque side of human nature, embracing it with typical black humour.
In celebration of the centenary of Kim Ki-young’s birth, we present a newly restored version of the film. Unfortunately, only the sound survives from the third and sixth reels. However, the original screenplay has been utilised to provide a textual description. Despite its regrettable incompleteness, Goryeojang stands as a prime example of Kim Ki-young’s unique and bold filmmaking.