The second of two films featuring the late actress Lee Eun-ju is The Scarlet Letter (주홍글씨, dir Byeon Hyeok, 2004). This was Lee’s last film, and it was said that the film contributed to the depression which led her to commit suicide. Also starring Han Suk-gyu.
Strong and confident detective Gi-hun is married to a refined and submissive woman, Su-hyeon. He also has a provocative and alluring lover, Ga-hee. On the brink of being promoted, he is given a murder case to solve. A man is found dead, and his wife is suspected. He interrogates her: “Was there a problem in the marriage? Do you have a lover? You must have a lover. Do you love him?” He aggressively attempts to solve the murder, but falls deeper into the mystery. At the same time, upon learning that his wife is pregnant, he tries to end things with Ga-hee. However, he learns how deeply he is addicted to Ga-hee, for Ga-hee, with her solitary nature and urbane, gorgeous exterior, lives only for him. When she suffers after his attempt to break up, she begins to feel detached from him. Su-hyeon, whether she knows about her husband’s infidelity or not, leads a quiet life, like the calm before a storm. In the midst of this quiet intensity, the secrets of the film’s three women are revealed, as the story comes to an unexpected close.
The screening is on Thursday 24 September at 7pm. As usual, pre-registration with the KCC is required.