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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Few directors have caused as much controversy in Korea as Kim Ki Duk in his decade of filmmaking. Despite much acclaim overseas with wins at Venice and Berlin Film Festivals, of the maverick filmmaker's twelve films, only 2001's Bad Guy was able to register a blip at the domestic box office, in part due to Jo Jae Hyun's (Piano) popularity. His latest controversial work, Time, risked an even worse fate in Korea. Kim only acquiesced to a limited release in late August 2006, after an online petition signed by over 10,000 netizens showed there were Koreans out there interested in Kim's latest film.

Plastic surgery has become a hot topic in Korea, covered in films ranging from horrors like Cinderella to romantic comedies like 200 Pounds Beauty. Kim addresses this controversial theme in a slightly different way. Se Hee (Sung Hyun Ah) and Ji Woo (Ha Jung Woo - The Unforgiven) have been together for years, but their relationship is slowly dying down, their love changing into a mere mildly pleasing familiarity. To solve her problems, Se Hee makes a drastic decision: change her facial appearances completely through plastic surgery and start a new life. Weeks later, Ji Woo meets a strange waitress at a cafe. She calls herself Sae Hee and, even though he's never seen her before, something feels strangely familiar...

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