Monday, 17 November 2008
Samaritan Girl (Samaria) 
Samaritan Girl, the third movie I watched at this year’s Kolkata Film Festival, is a somber and serious drama directed by Kim Ki-Duk. Even though this is my first experience of the South Korean director, it wasn’t hard to understand why he wins appraisals at international film circuits and courts controversy at his country in the same breath – his nonchalance in tackling subjects that most would want to carefully avoid. Told in three chapters, the movie tells the tale of a young, sensitive girl who leaves aside scruples to earn a quick buck with her close friend, he strange U-turn on her friend’s tragic death, and her final confrontation (a subtle psychological) one with her loving father when her dark secret gets accidentally revealed. The subject has been sensitively handled, and has been infused with a sad, morose tone that acts as a means of juxtaposition for the girl’s existence. However, what could have been a very dark and troubling film, didn’t really have that extra bite to really move or disturb us. This strange tale of lost innocence, redemption, two lonely souls’ attempts at connection with each other and with strangers which were destined to fail from the beginning, and a father’s desperate attempts to come to terms with the shocking revelations about her daughter, is saddening though lacking in profundity.
Director: Kim Ki-Duk
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Coming of Age
Country: South Korea