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2009 (Joon-ho Bong) 18A, 128 minutes - In Korean with English Subtitles

Hye-ja Kim, Bin Won, Ku Jin

In a Hollywood where mothers are largely dead, absent or relegated to background roles as saints or villains, Korean festival favourite Mother is a refreshing change. The star of the film is Mother (Kim), a fiercely loyal, decidedly unglamourous force of nature who takes hold of the film and unleashes that dreaded maternal power in full force when her mentally disabled son, Yoon, is accused of murdering a local girl. Yoon is no saint himself, palling around with his sly, manipulative friend Jintae, harassing girls and getting into drunken mischief. Convinced that her son is innocent, Mother turns quickly from meek, unlicensed acupuncturist to vigilante detective in this unforgettable, often bleakly comic thriller.

Kate Scullin

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