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November 16, 2009

SDFF 2009- My Dear Enemy


Meotjin haru
Lee Yoon-ki - 2008
Cine-Asie 35mm Film

The beginning of My Dear Enemy is an extended traveling shot, what appeared to be one continuous take. The camera follows a couple discussing possibly investing in real estate, only to be diverted by a group of men debating where to catch lunch, before finally settling on a woman who is entering what is revealed to be the betting area of a race track. It is the one display display of technical bravura before Lee concentrates on his story. The opening shot, which deliberately misleads the audience fits in with the rest of the film in which the filmmaker subverts assumptions the audience might have about his two main characters.

The story is simple: Hee-su finds former boyfriend Byong-woon in the race track betting area. She insists that he return $3500 that day that he borrowed under questionable circumstances a year earlier. Hee-su is adamant that she will not leave Byong-woon until he makes good on his IOU. The remainder of the film is a sort of road movie, a more localized one, with a journey through various part of Seoul.

Byong-woon's idea of repaying Hee-su consists mostly of borrowing money or calling in debts from various friends and relatives. To Hee-su's chagrin, she discovers that Byong-woon might not have a girl in every proverbial port, but seems to have female friends in every neighborhood where they stop. What Hee-su learns about Byong-woon is that in spite of his failings in business, he is loved for his generosity of spirit.

my dear enemy 2.gif

One of the film's running jokes is of Byong-woon's inability to say the name of Astrud Gilberto, Hee-su's favorite singer. My Dear Enemy takes its cues from the relaxed flow of many of Gilberto's signature songs. A discussion of the music, by the film's music director, Kim Jung Bum, as well as Lee's thoughts on his film, includes a clip from My Dear Enemy. I am hoping to see more of Lee's films as they become available on DVD. Based on what I have read about his previous work, his own self-assessment is worth noting: "I would say my films deals with a lot of humanism. . . . That every day, nonchalant life that people always overlook is what I wanted to display onto film."

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at November 16, 2009 12:36 AM


Many thanks!
A great review on the film and we plan to release it the early next spring in Canada.

Best regards,
Cine-Asie Creatives

Posted by: Cine Asie at November 18, 2009 07:55 PM