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Synopsis: Mija (veteran actress Yun Jung-hee) is a beautiful woman in her sixties who moves gracefully through life, contemplating a trivial daily routine that is ill-suited to her refined persona. With elegance and a dash of eccentricity, Mija takes care of her ungrateful grandson Wook (Lee David) and makes a living by cleaning house for an elderly man who, though paralyzed by a stroke, still responds to her charm with bouts of drug-induced arousal.

On a whim, Mija enrolls in a poetry class at the local cultural centre and begins a personal quest to find the perfect words to describe her feelings. However, she’s plagued by the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and struggles with new vocabulary and the challenges of the creative process. When her world is turned upside down by the discovery of a monstrous crime, it is Mija’s unique and touching poetry that allows her to defy the weight of shame and distance herself from a painful proximity to violence.




NR -Treat as PG



Run Time

140 minutes




Lee David (Wook)
Yun Jung-hee (Mija)
Nae-sang Ahn (Kibum's Father)
Myeong-shin Park (Heejin's Mother)
Hira Kim (M.Kang)

Directed by

Chang-dong Lee

Written by

Chang-dong Lee

Produced by

Jun-dong Lee

Edited by

Hyun Kim

Production Designer

Jum-hee Shin


Hyun Seok Kim


Cannes Film Festival - France - 2010

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury - Special Mention (Chang-dong Lee)

Cannes Film Festival - France - 2010

Best Screenplay (Chang-dong Lee)

Women in Film Korea Festival - South Korea - 2010

Woman in Film of the Year (Jeong-hie Yun)

Philadelphia Film Festival - USA - 2010

Audience Award - Honorable Mention, Masters of Cinema (Chang-dong Lee)

Korean Association of Film Critics Awards - South Korea - 2010

Best Film (Chang-dong Lee)

Korean Association of Film Critics Awards - South Korea - 2010

Best Screenplay (Chang-dong Lee)

Grand Bell Awards - South Korea - 2010

Best Film (Poetry)

Grand Bell Awards - South Korea - 2010

Best Supporting Actor (Hee-ra Kim)

Grand Bell Awards - South Korea - 2010

Best Screenplay (Chang-dong Lee)

Grand Bell Awards - South Korea - 2010

Best Actress (Jeong-hie Yun)

Busan Film Critics Association (BCFA) - South Korea - 2010

Top Films of the Year (Poetry)

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards - USA - 2010

Best Actress (Jeong-hie Yun)


Cannes Film Festival - France - 2010

Palme d'Or


True to the title, writer-director Lee Chang-dong is principally concerned with rendering emotions that seem inexpressible. - J. R. Jones , Chicago Reader

A deceptively gentle tale with a tender ache at its center, as well as a performance from Yun Jung-hee that lingers long in the memory. - Justin Chang , Variety

It is a picture of something inexpressibly gentle and sad, something heartbreaking and absolutely normal, but something stirred up by a violent, alien incursion. - Peter Bradshaw , Guardian

Anyone who starts a film going to poetry classes is eventually going to come up with a poem. The one Mija finally delivers will rip your heart to shreds. - David Jenkins , Time Out


Rotten Tomatoes - 100% Certified Fresh! - [Rotten Tomatoes]

Country of Origin

South Korea

Production Year


Official Website

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