The Power of Kangwon Province

Director: Hong Sang-soo

Released in 1998.

power2

There’s a poster for this film that has the tagline: ‘Love’s fleeting when most in need’. Whether it’s a translation from the tagline on a Korean poster or it was dreamt up by the distributors of the film’s release in the English-speaking world, it’s pretty stupid and meaningless. The characters in Kangwon Province may need love, but if they only have themselves to blame if love sidesteps their grubby grasp and runs for the hills. A more passive aggressive, cowardly, emotionally-stunted bunch of lost souls has never before been dreamt up! I’m beginning to realise that I’m never going to like the people in Hong Sang-soo’s films, but maybe their lives are just too familiar for me to stop watching.

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