Road Movie (2002)





Pusan International Film Festival
Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
2002 Won Netpac Award In-shik Kim


Dae-Shik is a gay homeless man on the streets of Soel. He finds a suicidal ex-financier Suk-Won on the street. Suk-Won’s business has failed and his wife has thrown him out. The two hit the road together to find work, but instead find Il-Joo , a prostitute. Il-Joo is attracted to Dae-Shik. Dae-Shik is attracted to Suk-Won. And Suk-Won is not gay. When he turns to Il-Joo for comfort, the triangle is complete.

Even though it is likely to ignite controversy among Korean filmgoers for its explicit depiction of gay sexuality, Road Movie is simply an excellent film, with or without sex scenes: a taut and poignant drama capable of holding its own against its cinematic predecessors such as Wim Wenders’ Paris Texas and Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho. To be sure, in Road Movie, same-sex love between men is not used as a narrative device to enhance melodramatics, as it is in, say, Bungee Jumping of Their Own: the characters approach this issue with refreshing candidness and pragmatism, and the movie braves the uncharted waters of the human heart where the currents of friendship, compassion, love and sexual desire co-mingle and merge into one another. (Kyu Hyun Kim)