Sopyonje

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Film info

Director: Im Kwon-taek
Film genre: Drama, Period Drama
113 mins, 2020

A father, son and adopted daughter are a family of travelling artists, performers of traditional Korean folk music pansori - hours-long stories performed through voice and drum. They are struggling to make ends meet, thanks in part to the father’s alcoholic tendencies, and in part to society’s growing disinterest in the art, which is seen as old-fashioned and outdated.

This grand melodrama is as much the story of the clash between tradition and modern values as it is the clash between parent and child. When the son decides to escape his oppressive father, he has to go to extreme measures to make sure his daughter doesn’t follow the same path. Despite the ability to change scenery, the family unit is without doubt ‘trapped’ together, and the tensions this can cause are immediately apparent. Domestic scenes are tense and arguments are never far away, a situation that some of us will find all too familiar.