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Yeon-sil with black hair betrays Dong-il, a knave, to have a constant sexual relationship with Man-ho, an opium addict. But Dong-il abducts her. She falls to a prostitute with her face scarred. After that, she meets a reliable man and loves him deeply. When Dong-il finds out the fact, his henchmen kidnaps Yeon-sil.
Black Hair is the representative noir in 60’s Korean cinema which is the ‘Golden Age’ of genre film. Yeun-sil with black hair (Black Hair) is a wife of an underground gangster Dong-il who actively rules the Seoul City. She is thrown out of the organization with scarred face because of an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with Man-ho who is one of Dong-il’s men. The femme Black Hair is a variation form classical noir style; in classical noir narrative a femme fatale gets punished at the end of the story but Black Hair starts with the punishment of a femme fatale and drives the Boss towards destruction when he cannot get over a woman who he had punished.
Therefore, in gender relationship, Black Hair comes to a propagate film noir. The change occurred by the double or triple love stories around Yeun-sil strengthens the melodramatic elements when she becomes a main protagonist. The director LEE Manhee masterly handles the rules of genre and creates close to perfect frame to show formally refined set of Black Hair and reproduced 60’s dark city and its dangers in the back alley as the fantasy of genre film. MOON Jung-sook, the main actress, who wonders around the City with long black hair with her sentimental facial express, leaves impressive and memorable moments throughout the film. (KWON Eun-sun)
LEE Man-heeLEE Man-hee
Born in 1931, LEE Man-hee studied directing under AHN Jong-hwa, PARK Gu and KIM Myung-jae, and made his debut film Kaleidoscope (1961). He showed his outstanding ability in directing through Marines Are Gone (1963). LEE had to make a way to the court due to his problematic film The Seven Female POW’s (1965). His career hit its climax with yet another film Full Autumn (1966). In the later years, his taste moved from situation-centered world view with much suspense toward a meditative one overcoming differences in ideology.