Mother Is A Whore, reflects South Korean reality

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 26, 2010 04:38 hrs

It is a film whose name wrenches the gut. When Mother Is A Whore was screened at the Mumbai Film Festival, despite the grainy visuals, the audience watched with rapt attention. Not because there was any nudity (there was none), but because the humanism of a film that is not easy on the stomach, moved many.

South Korean director Lee Sang-Woo, who is also the lead actor says, 'It is based on a true story. A man was actually using his mother as a whore in Korea.' It is not surprising that despite being the toast of festival circuits across the world, the film was not selected to be part of the Pusan Film Festival.

In the film a son is a pimp to his mother, not because he wants to but because their impoverished life does not offer them any other choice. Everyone judges the duo and hates the pimp. Yet, the hypocrisy is laid bare for the viewer as almost every relationship in the film, as in our lives, is twisted. Like a lotus in the muck, the purest relationship is the one between this pimp and his prostitute mother.

To be able to make such a statement about life with the help of cinema is a rare and soaring achievement.

In the gentle depiction of the mother-son relationship, it becomes a beautiful film and rises above most others, despite being a low budget film and being shot on digital.

In the end the film reverses Chaplin's The Kid, where it is the mother who is taken away and the son is unable to do anything about it.

The film is also a comment on modern man's over indulgence with religion at the cost of neglecting people around. When religion becomes an escape the family suffers.

The film is thus a comment on life, not just in South Korea but the way it is evolving worldwide. Lee says, 'My film reflects South Korean reality. People are not concerned about their own children. They are turning overtly religious and they care only for Jesus without caring for their own children.'

The Mumbai Film Festival has a good mix of films from South Korea this year.



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