Screened as part of NZIFF 2003
Lee Chang-dong’s alarmingly funny and libidinous drama offers up a challenging portrait of forbidden love. Recently released from prison for a hit-and-run accident and bristling with fidgety energy, the slightly retarded Jong-du becomes perversely attracted to Gong-ju, the daughter of the man killed in the accident. To make matters more complicated and un-PC, Gong-ju is almost completely physically disabled by cerebral palsy. Following a disturbing beginning to their unruly courtship the two find in each other the acceptance denied by their cruel and exploitative families.
“Going out on a limb and taking down the whole tree, Lee Chang-dong’s Oasis is infused with the spirit and the anger of Fassbinder… [The] recent winner of Best Director at Venice, Oasis is a heartbreaking film about a kind of love that society cannot recognize… In this magical film where the boundary between dream and reality is sometimes severed Lee makes us painfully aware of how we see others, and how others sometimes see ourselves, and that is a tremendous accomplishment.” — Mark Peranson, Toronto Globe & Mail