A Lady of Freedom was a box office hit which raised the controversial question of what it meant to be a modern woman at the time it was released. It tells the story of Oh Sun-Young, the wife of college professor Chang Tae-Yeon, and the conflict that occurs when Sun-Young takes a step into the social sphere. The social space that Sun-Young chooses to frequent is made up of show windows displaying high quality foreign cosmetics and imported alligator handbags, and dance halls where people move to the beat of the Tango. At ‘The 25 O’ clock Café’, the gigolo, Choon-Ho with his suave manners and enticing words of “I Love You”, approaches Sun-Young. Sun-Young guides the audience’s gaze to fragrant imports and foreign restaurants. However, the power of this film which held the attention of the female audience was perhaps not so much focused on these extravagant material items as the freedom that Sun-Young enjoys when she chooses to follow wherever her rubber shoes lead her. The poster ad which asked, “If you were Prof. Chang Tae-Yeon, what decision would you make about your wife?” was most likely a marketing strategy to attract potential moviegoers who looked forward to a new kind of ending. The film raised two popular issues that contradicted each other: “A professor’s wife having an affair disrupts social morality” vs. “Even a professor’s wife is human and should accordingly do away with trite, old-fashioned thoughts.” Perhaps these views can be rephrased for the 90s audience in the following way: “If you were Oh Sun-Young, how would you sentence Chang Tae-Yeon, your two-timing, patriarchal husband who can have an affair with his student yet still demand fidelity from his wife?” (Nam In-Young)
HAN HyeongmoHAN Hyeongmo
He graduated from an art school in Manchuria. While he studied fine art in an art school in Japan, he entered Dongbo Film Studios in Japan and shot Viva Freedom as the director of photography. He established Han Hyeong-mo Productions and made his debut film Breaking the Wall. Up until his final film The Queen of Elegy (1967), he shot and directed about 30 films.