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The Bow DVD Region 3

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The Bow

YesAsia Editorial Description

Acclaimed filmmaker Kim Ki Duk, director of such films as 3-Iron and The Isle helms The Bow, his twelfth feature film and a fascinating tale of love and jealousy between two very different people living together in near isolation. Screened at the Cannes Film Festival, The Bow tells the story of a sixty year old man (Jeong Seong Hwan, from Ogu) who has been raising a young girl (played by Han Yeo Reum, from Kim Ki Duk's Samaritan Girl) since she was just a child. The two live on a boat in the middle of the sea, yet despite the harsh conditions, the girl lives a somewhat happy existence. Totally charmed by her, the elderly man desperately hopes to marry her once she is of legal age.

In the mean time, the old man begins to identify with the bow that he carries around with him in the film. While it can be used as stringed instrument, it is primarily used by the old sailor to dispatch lusty fishermen who take a liking to the young girl. Thus, the bow becomes a symbol of the old man's power. But that power is threatened when a handsome young man shows up on the ship, as the old man discovers that the bow may not be enough when it comes to matters of the human heart. Will the old man have his way? Or will the bloom of young love be too powerful for even him to control? These questions and more will be answered in Kim Ki Duk's masterful cinematic tale!

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Bow 情慾穿心箭 情欲穿心箭 弓 (The Bow) (韓国版)
Artist Name(s): Kim Ki Duk 金 基德 金 基德 キム・ギドク 김기덕
Release Date: 2005-08-11
Language: Korean
Subtitles: English, Korean
Country of Origin: South Korea
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Duration: 89 (mins)
Publisher: KD MEDIA
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004044724

Product Information

* Screen Format : Anamorphic Widescreen
* Sound Mix : Dolby 5.1 & 2.0
* DVD Type : N/A
* Extras :
- 메이킹 필름
- 제작과정 다큐멘터리
- 감독, 배우 인터뷰
- 감독, 배우의 코멘터리
- 예고편

* Director : 김기덕

망망대해 한가운데 떠있는 큰 배에는 노인이 바다낚시를 하러 온 남자들로부터 활을 이용해 소녀를 보호하며 하루하루 생계를 이어가고 있다. 어느날, 아버지와 함께 바다낚시를 하러 온 대학생은 노인배에 살고 있는 소녀의 묘한 매력에 끌리게 된다. 하지만 노인의 화살은 대학생과 소녀사이의 좁혀지는 거리를 그냥 두고 보지 않는다.

7살부터 노인배에서 생활한 소녀는 10년 동안 단 한번도 바깥세상과 소통하지 못했으며 곧, 노인과 혼례를 올릴 것이라는 이야기를 들은 대학생은 소녀에게 새로운 세상을 보여줄 결심으로 함께 뭍으로 향하는 배에 올라 타는데…
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Bow"

September 28, 2005

With The Bow, acclaimed South Korean director Kim Ki Duk continues to explore human nature and transcendence, moving further away from the bitterness and sadism which characterized his earlier work. Although at first the film appears to have much in common with The Isle, sharing the same, overtly symbolic setting that verges on the abstract, it is in fact a direct continuation of the themes delved into by Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring and 3-Iron. As with those films, The Bow is a poetic, at times surreal piece which makes use of a basic central gambit, layering it with ambiguous meaning and an enriching emotional resonance, which reaches far beyond its own simple premise. Few directors are as skilled as Kim at this, and the film is well balanced, working on both levels and providing on the surface a tense study of love and trust, whilst gently and lyrically encouraging the viewer to dig deeper.

The film takes place on a boat floating on an unnamed ocean, on which lives an old man (Jeon Sung Hwan) and a young girl (Han Yeo Reum, also in the director's excellent Samaria). The old man supposedly found her some ten years earlier, and she has never left the boat. He plans to marry her as soon as she turns seventeen. It is a date the old man eagerly awaits, even counting down the days on a calendar. The old man's other prize possession is a bow, with which he protects the girl, as well as using it as a musical instrument.

The two make money by hosting fishermen, and by telling their fortunes using the strange method of the old man shooting arrows at the girl as she swings in front of what appears to be a Buddhist painting on the side of the boat. Their idyllic existence is troubled by the appearance of a young man, who falls in love with the girl and accuses the old man of keeping her prisoner. Slowly, the girl starts to assert herself, and as the wedding day draws near, tensions mount and confrontation appears inevitable.

The story itself deals with many of the themes that often run through Kim Ki Duk's films, primarily its examination of love through the concepts of ownership and trust. The relationship between the old man and the girl is complex, and even as the film progresses, and it appears that the girl is indeed kept against her will, Kim never offers any easy answers or condemnations. The old man and the girl's affection for each other and co-dependence is made all the more powerful by the fact that neither speaks, and the way in which Kim allows subtle actions and glances to illustrate their emotions and motivations is extremely skilful, and never feels forced.

Since the fishermen who come to the boat are generally perverts who are constantly trying to grab the girl, her relationship with the old man has a strangely innocent aspect, and though uncomfortable, never feels overtly aggressive or exploitative. In fact, the old man's role of protector, driving away the letches with his bow, and the tender love he clearly feels for the girl, generate considerable sympathy, and even when the young man appears to challenge him, it is far from clear who is truly acting in the girl's best interests. This moral ambiguity is fascinating, and presents the viewer with a set of intriguing characters rather than a set of obvious heroes and villains.

Visually, the film is minimalist, yet stunning. The maritime setting is perfectly utilized, and the constant, yet gentle lapping of the waves provides an almost hypnotic atmosphere. Perhaps most pleasing is the way in which the look of the film perfectly compliments its spiritual aspect, being at times almost illusive and unworldly, yet tied to the physical presence of the boat itself. With the titular bow, Kim is drawing a link between the tightening of its drawstring and the heightening of the tense emotions on the boat. Thematically, this neatly illustrates the film's depiction of the duality of human nature, being both a deadly weapon and provider of soul-soothing music, as well as representing the different aspects of the old man's love for the girl - at once fierce and tender, as well as a signifier of his own sexual potency, or lack thereof.

As expected, Kim fills The Bow with symbolism, through the intrusive modern gadgets given to the girl by the young man, to the fact that no land is ever seen, and the boat itself feels intimate rather than claustrophobic. There are a number of ambiguous cultural and religious references as well, including Buddhist motifs and a variation on the Korean national flag. Thankfully, these are used in a delicate, if perhaps cynical and not entirely respectful manner, rather than the tacky mysticism which is commonly exploited for cheap atmospherics or tacky philosophical musings. The film as a whole has an almost ethereal, elemental feel, and truly engages the viewer, begging further analysis.

The finale of The Bow takes on the impression of an allegory or fable, one which may be deciphered by viewers as they see fit, without the hindrance of explicit answers or blatant signposting. As such, The Bow is unlikely to appeal to those who expect films to offer immediate gratification, since it is devoid of cheap thrills or pseudo witty dialogue. However, for fans of the director and those willing to open their minds, a rewarding experience awaits, and one that is far removed from the trash which sadly fills modern cinema.

Movie Grade: 4 out of 5 stars

By James - BeyondHollywood.com

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "The Bow"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.8 out of 10 (4)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews


June 9, 2008

1 people found this review helpful

Kim Ki Duk's masterpiece Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
Kim Ki Duk's "The Bow" is a beautiful work of art, a cinematic masterpiece, and easily Mr. Kim's best work to date. Its power lies in its simplicity, a deceptive simplicity, as director Kim freights his tale with themes of extraordinary power.

The wordless performance delivered by Han Yeo Reum, as the beautiful girl raised at sea, is mesmerizing and unforgettable. Jeong Seong Hwan, as the old man who has raised her and intends to marry her, is a force of nature. The story, written by director Kim, is akin to a timeless folk tale.

I recommend "The Bow" very, very highly. This is a film that you will want to watch again and again.
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Kat
See all my reviews


February 11, 2006

Kim Ki Duk does it again Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
I've always admired director Kim Ki Duk's vision
and courage. He is never afraid to go very far to
make his point about human conditions - loneliness,
desire and obsession. His films are always artfully
shot with beautiful scenery and little dialogue, yet
points are always clear.
This movie is no exception. It held my attention
and like his other films, I am certain it will stay
with me for a long time.
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Asian-film-guru
See all my reviews


February 5, 2006

Breathtaking Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
I have to admit I only really purchased this film on the off chance because I loved Kim ki duks other movies so much! I was amazed at how beautiful this movie actually is, amazing quality of production and acting. You will love this film if you enjoyed Kim's other films such as The isle and Spring, summer, autumn, winter and spring. Which also looked into the realisism of living on a floating world. Also check out the soundtrack to this film it is simply breathtaking.
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Robert Grima
See all my reviews


August 16, 2005

2 people found this review helpful

Kim's Weapon and Instrument. Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
After searching all over the Internet for a review of The Bow, the only two reviews I did find were not quite too positive to purchase The Bow blindly.


But being a Kim Si Duk fan I just had to see if Kim really failed after Samaria and the excellent 3 Iron.


First things first for anyone still in doubt if they should purchase this DVD, I say go ahead you will not be disappointed one bit!


Anyone familiar with Kim's other works knows already that his two main characters do not utter one word in his movies, and The Bow is no exception.


The amazing direction Kim displays in this movie
is simply breathtaking, the soundtrack plays like a chill out cd and is immensely captivating.
I was not bored one second!


The plot may look simple but the many emotions and thoughts that run through your mind while watching this movie will have you thinking long after the credits have rolled.
This is a movie that raises a lot of questions, and the answers can only be answered by every individual’s opinion.


One must keep in mind that Kim makes Art movies and not
Commercial movies for popcorn pleasure!


I have no idea what Kim eats for breakfast but I think beside his breakfast lays either a religious book, an art book and probably a serenity cd playing in the background.
I personally place this movie among my favourites
Of Kim’s work. I have no hesitation in giving this
Masterpiece a 10/10.

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