Lee Hyun-ju (played by Yoon Jung-hee) is secretly living with bank co-worker, Mr. Park (played by Shin Seong-il), who is not only incapable of satisfying her sexually, but also refuses to offer her the security of marriage. Caught between a state of discontent, the painful memories of her first love and a world of fantasy, her desires kick in. In high school, she falls in love with her teacher who leaves her an unwed mother when he dies in the Vietnam War. She turns to roaming the streets of the night that filled with temptation and pleasure, becoming disillusioned by the wretched and shameless beings that occupy it, and even experiencing ecstasy for the first time from forced sex with strangers.
The ‘controversy over obscenity’ during the late 70s may have forced Kim Soo-yong’s Night Voyage to be cut in more than 50 places. However, from a more sophisticated modernist angle the film indeed introduced a rather sincere picture of a woman’s confused inner world, which shifted between independence and free will, and a repressed desire for sexuality and marriage. Perhaps this is because the film draws us into her daring world of fantasy as she explores the various spaces of the city, but also because it reveals the threats and restrictions inflicted on her body and her mind.
Kim Soo-yongKim Soo-yong
Born in 1929 in Ansung, Kim Soo-yong studied pedagogy at Seoul National University. He has directed more than 100 films including A Seashore Village (1964), Flame in the Valley (1967), Chun-hyang (1968), Splendid Outing (1977), and Jung-Kwang’s Nonsense (1986) since his feature debut film A Henpecked Husband in 1958. He won numerous awards such as the “Best Director Award” at the 6th and 13th Daejong Film Festival, for Mist (1967) and The Earth (1974), respectively, and the Best Director Award at the 15th Baiksang Art Award for The Terms of Love (1979). One of the leading contributors to the Korean cinema boom in the sixties, Kim Soo-yong has also taught at Chongju University and has been the president of Korea Media Rating Board.