Sopyonje (1993)


Sopyonje – Kwon-taek Im

Seopyeonje (original title)

Summary:  Dung-ho (Kyu-chul Kim) thinks back to how he and his sister Songwa (Jung-hae Oh) were raised by a pansori singer Yu-bong (Myung-gon Kim).  Yu-bong wanted to turn the brother and sister duo into serious artists of pansori, a traditional Korean music genre projecting grief and suffering.  He trained them strictly, as he believed suffering can only make a truly great pansori artist.  But eventually after years of relentless poverty and pansori being left behind in a more modern world, Dong-ho runs away and leaves his sister behind.

My Review:  The pansori singing might initially sound like a bit of an earful to most western audiences, yet there are similarities in our own culture.  When we think of traditional rhythm and blues and recall singers like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke, it’s commonly thought great R’n B/soul singers have gone through tremendous emotional turmoil and pain, thus making their voice so real and unique.  It was interesting to see this through another window, although it was all quite somber throughout.

My Rating: 1.5/5

Many South Korean films can now be watched online on the Korean Film Archive YouTube channel.  Know of any Korean films not reviewed on this site?  Leave your recommendations in the comments below!

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