Set in a small village in early 20th century Tongyoung, South Kyungsang Province, Daughters of Kim’s Pharmacy opens with the mistress of the house taking her life after an encounter with her first love triggers her husband’s jealousy. A shadow is cast over the Kim Mansion as rumors of a ghost haunting the place accompanies the reality of the family riches falling apart because of misguided investments. When the family patriarch, with his outdated pride, falls into the shadows, it is the women of the Kim family who begin to sustain the household of the Kim pharmacy. The eldest daughter Yong-Sook continues to live in a void after being ousted by her married family, while the second daughter, Yong-Bin, who represents a somewhat awkward ‘modern woman’ in colonized Korea, relies on Christianity to teach undeveloped notions of individualism. The third daughter, Yong-Ran, differs from her sisters in being a woman who is true to her desires and not just a shallow intellect who blindly follows Western logic. She truly represents the ‘modern woman’ who has developed her own identity not through coercion or persuasion, but by looking within herself. Unfortunately, the price of refusing a life placed in front of her is an opium-addicted husband who wields violence whenever he can. This film presents itself as a grand text in which tradition and modernity, institutional taboos and individual desires clash. (Nam In-Young)
Yu Hyeon-MokYu Hyeon-Mok
Born in Hwanghae Province in 1925, Y Hyeon-Mok made his debut in 1955 with the Crossroad. Considered one of the most acclaimed directors in Korean film history, he made many controversial films including Son of a Human Being, An Aimless Bullet, Will Give Away Freely, Extra Human Being, and I\'ll Be a Man. He was a film professor at Dogguk University and dean at the School of the Arts of Dongguk University. He published a book in 1980 entitled The Development History of Korean Cinema(1980, Hanjin Books).