The Housemaid

하녀

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Film info

Director: Kim Ki-young
Cast: Kim Jin-gyu, Lee Eun-shim, Ju Jeung- nyeo, Um Aeng-ran, Ahn Sung-ki
Film genre: Drama
Cert TBC, 111 mins, 2018

Awards

Official Selection
Thessaloniki Int. Film Festival

Official Selection
Tokyo Int. Film Festival

Dong-sik, a music teacher in a textile factory becomes interested in a series of murders in Geum-cheon. One day, Dong-sik receives a love letter from female factory worker, Gwak Seon-yeong. He reports the incident to the dormitory supervisor of the factory who forces Seon-yeong to leave her job. Meanwhile, Gyeong-hui who encouraged Seon-yeong to write the letter begins visiting Dong-sik’s house under the pretext of having piano lessons. When Dong-sik’s pregnant wife takes ill from too much work Dong-sik asks Gyeong-hui for recommendation for a housemaid who he hires. When the wife leaves to visit her family Gyeong-hui professes her love for Dong-sik but is thrown out of the house. Witnessing everything the Housemaid seduces Dong-ski only to find out a number of months later that she is pregnant. Unable to keep the news quiet Dong-sik’s wife learns of the Housemaid’s secret and convinces her to have an abortion. Soon she starts to become unstable and violent towards the family.

The Housemaid, remade by Im Sangsoo in 2010 and based on actual events, is one of the greatest Korean films from master of cinema, Kim Ki-young. The film was the first in Housemaid Trilogy and is a prime example of Kim Ki-young’s growing fascination of young women’s desire to climb the social ladder, bourgeois families unsettled by a shift in the class system and male anxiety toward modern women.