“A scathing critique of an entire generation of Korean men, as well as of the country’s institutional default settings as it transformed itself into a democracy, but because it’s Lee’s film, it is PEPPERMINT CANDY’s ineluctable shape and pounding melancholy that leaves an ax gash on your memory.” Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice

“Striking, poignant, sad, and uncompromising as ever, PEPPERMINT CANDY is a film that stays with you.” Andrew Heskins, EasternKicks.com

“A compelling and powerful work and necessary to any introduction to the Korean New Wave.” - Rahul Hamid, Senses of Cinema

Friday, May 3, 8:30 p.m. & Saturday, May 11, 3:00 p.m. | Told in reverse chronological order, Lee’s sophomore feature begins with middle-aged Yong-ho on the verge of suicide by train. As he stands on the tracks, the previous two decades of his life—from tender young love to the cynicism of middle age—flash before his eyes in chapters. The events of his life correspond with volatile years in South Korea, marked by economic instability and protests against the military, connecting one man’s personal disappointments with the country’s transformative history during the late 20th century.

Awards & Nominations

Winner - Special Prize of the Jury, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Winner - Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress (Kim Yeo-jin), Best New Actor (Sol Kyung-gu), Grand Bell Awards, South Korea
Winner - Best Film, Best Director, Best New Actor (Sol Kyung-gu), Best Screenplay, Korean Association of Film Critics Awards

Lee Chang-dong: Redemption and Revelations: One of South Korea’s most celebrated contemporary auteurs, Lee Chang-dong’s relatively short but extraordinary filmography is reflective of his background as an acclaimed writer and influenced by his criticism of South Korea's cultural and political climates. Novelistic and character driven, his six feature films explore themes of trauma and anger, with individuals pushed to their breaking point by repressive systems, structures, and situations. View full series.

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email filmcenter@saic.edu