|Opening Film (1)||New Currents (18)|
|Asian Spectrum: Chinese Women’s Cinema in the New Century (6)||Polemics: The Places (8)|
|Ani-x: Dream, Mind and Reality in Animation (36)||Korean Cinema Retrospective: Seoul Flâneuses (10)|
|Queer Rainbow: the Q word (7)||Open Cinema (4)|
|Asian Short Film & Video Competition (16)||Dacumentary Ock Rang Award (1)|
|Media Workshop for Women Migrants: Salad Woman with a Camera of Hope (8)|
Dong-sik and Myeong-ja are found dead near a poultry farm, with twelve stab wounds. The police, assuming that this is a robbery case, start investigation. One day Myeong-ja, comes to work for free at the farm, in order to marry well. Dong-sik, a songwriter, becomes close to Hye-suk who wants to be a singer. However Myeong-ja comes in between them, and gets pregnant with Dong-sik’s child.
The film starts with Myeong-ja and her friend on the bus to Seoul together. The opening of the film is interesting when considering the fact those young women from agricultural areas moved to the City in groups with friends and neighbors from same areas. They set the password ’31 Building’ just in case for emergencies presented by the dangers they have to face in the City. Repeatedly shown in a low angle from their points of view, 31 Building, the tallest structure in Seoul at that moment, becomes the signifier of the modernization in Korea and two women’s desire for the City.
When The Housemaid was cruel ‘interior drama’ of the bourgeois style western house, Woman of Fire relatively uses Seoul City as a main location. Especially the shot of employment agency and gynecology office in the center of the ruin City projects insecurity and shows the differences from the previous film. Myeong-ja’s hysterical sexuality is described in a manner of decorative interior mise-en-scène and eventually to the City spaces, this is characteristic of director Kim Ki Young’s style. After the closure of an incident, the last scene of a landlady Jung-sook and Myeong-ja’s friend depending on each other lets us examine their desires that were built and collapsed in the City together and their secret password 31 building in the
background as the symbolic gesture. (KWON Eun-sun)
KIM KiyoungKIM Kiyoung
Born in Seoul, 1919, and graduated from the Graduate of Dentistry School at Seoul National University. When he was a student, he founded the National University Theater with his school drama club in 1947 and worked as a director. He is best known for the film The Housemaid (1960) which serves as the prototype of his later films including Woman of Fire (1971), The Insect Woman (1972), Hwa-Nyuh of ‘82 (1982) and Carnivorous Animal (1984). Before the special retrospective at the Berlin International Film Festival, KIM and his wife passed away for fire accident in February 1998.