Samaritan Girl [DVD] 
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South Korean horror. In order to achieve their dream of travelling to Europe, two teenage girls start up their own prostitution business so they can save up the money they need. When one of the girls is killed in a police raid, the other undergoes a lengthy period of penance, and travels with the dead girl's father on a trip in the hope of gaining redemption.
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It is a wonderful experience of a movie, morbidely magical and brilliantly written and played, it finds a perfect, no, the BEST, balance between poetry and death, harmony and fear, fascination and final destruction ...
The characters are interesting, the storyline does not follow a formula and doesn't always go where you would expect. There are extended takes that stretch the timing, interspersed with brief and brutal violence (which is how it should be, I suppose). The story plays out in a slow wind-down which encourages the viewer to try and come up with their own solutions... then it ends. Now you go away and think about it for a bit. But maybe only for a few minutes.
However, there is a character switch about halfway through that takes this film in a much more interesting direction. I love the way the director ends the film. I guess I can't spoil it by writing about it, but it's just the last thing you expect, and it finds a kind of beauty in a lot of quiet moments.
Things go fine until, caught in an apartment as the police make a raid, Jae-young leaps out of the window in a bid to escape and is fatally injured. Seeking to make penance, Yeo-jin starts going through their address book, offering herself to each client in turn, gratis. Then her father, a cop, finds out with predictably violent and tragic consequences.
I found the film extremely involving, and the touching relationship between the two girls seemed particularly well-handled to me: I really grew to care about these characters, particularly ever-effervescent Jae-Young, who, with her constant smile and unflappable loyalty, was a character I was sad to see go. Following her death, the film's exploration of the father's painful reaction to his daughter's "lifestyle," was also interesting and, up to a point, well-handled. Direction was skillful, particularly in its crafty use of handheld footage in many segments; and the film does have an air about it of being tightly under control, which seems to indicate the practiced hand of a natural cinematic artisan. Unfortunately despite strong performances, confident direction and a careful, non-exploitative approach to the material, Samaritan Girl is a touch too enigmatic for its own good and doesn't quite manage to achieve a satisfactory balance between reality and its transcendence, too many things remaining under-explored and under-explained.
Thus, for example, while Yeo-jin and Jae-young discuss the tale of an Indian prostitute whose attentions caused her clients to devote themselves to Buddhism, we don't see how this "holy whore" myth compares with the contemporary Korean reality; nor does the director successfully manage to bring out the contrasts implicit in the more Christian framework within which he has chosen to situate the story. Nevertheless, despite that "Samaritan Girl" is a worthwhile film that everyone should watch and come to understand.
lesbian girlfriend come pimp doesn't like customer friendily ways eventually fails to warn of police raid
schoolgirl jumps out of window & eventually dies in hospital
lesbian pimp has a mental breakdown start sleeping with the dead girls clients & returning the money
her dad who is a homicide copper eventually finds out
daddy goes nutty starts trailing daughter harassing the punters eventually killing one
daddy takes daughter out in the boonies gives her a brief driving lesson before turning himself in stranding his daughter in in the middle of nowhere
so thats the plot, no explanation for the dvd cover unless you count a mention of mother teresa in the subtitles
glad I didn't fall for the dodgy packaging to buy this one on dvd
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