In the 1950s, a red light district near a US army base in Seoul is filled with chaos. Yeong-sik, who leads a smuggling gang, proposes to a prostitute named Sonya and wishes her to leave the army base with him. Meanwhile, Sonya seeks for Dong-sik’s love aside from her other lover. Dong-sik just hopes to get rid of all this agony and returns back to his hometown.
This is an unusual piece in Shin’s filmography. It portrays the harsh life of a woman who is drifting between the Confucian feudalism and the secular values of capitalism and materialism which flowed through US army bases after the war. Choi Eun-hee plays a femme fatale who is true to her desire unlike the image of traditional woman. The typical ending seems to approve traditional values against material civilization. Numerous items displayed at the club in the red-light district reveal the chaotic collision between old and new values in the 1950s. [KIM Youngjin]
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