Beyond the Years | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 106 minutes · 2007

For his 100th film South Korean director Im Kwon-taek revisits his 1993 hit Sopyonje, picking up where the original left off but also reworking its story in a series of flashbacks. The three central characters are a family of wandering musicians skilled in pansori, a centuries-old form of opera; the father, frustrated by his own musical shortcomings, bullies his adopted son (Cho Jae-hyun) until the boy runs away, then blinds his daughter (Oh Jung-hae, reprising her role from Sopyonje) so that her sorrow will color her singing. Sopyonje ended with a long-awaited reunion between brother and sister; their paths cross again in this 2007 feature, but no more happily. Im updates the story by noting the ill effects of globalization and rapacious economic development, but aside from the exquisite images, this is a pallid retread. In Korean with subtitles.
Director: Kwon-taek Im
Producer: Jong-jin Baek, Dae-yeong Heo and Jong-won Kim
Cast: Seung-yong Ryoo, Hyeon-jae Jo, Jung-hae Oh, Seung-eun Oh and Tae-ho Ryu

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