Tag Archives: Hong Jin Na

The Yellow Sea

South Korea seems to be leading the pack at the moment in terms of knocking out top-notch crime movies that are not afraid to play with genres. Take for example, The Yellow Sea, released in 2010.

This 156-minute film starts off as a tightly plotted and gritty neo noir, transforming half way through into a blood soaked chase/revenge movie. Topping it off is a big dollop of social realism about the plight of Chinese of Korean decent or the Joseonjok.

The Yellow Sea begins in Yanji, a city in the Chinese region between North Korea and Russia. It’s your standard Chinese industrial town, endless rows of anonymous apartment blocks swathed in low hanging haze.

Gu-Nam is a Joseonjok taxi driver whose life is rapidly disintegrating. He’s heard nothing from his wife since she left to work in Seoul six months earlier. Gu-Nam strongly suspects he is being cuckolded and has drunken dreams about her sleeping with other men. More seriously, he’s racked up 60,000 Yuan in mah-jong gambling debts to a fearsome local gangster and people trafficker, Myun-Ga.

Myun-Ga offers to wipe the debt if Gu-Nam agrees to go to Seoul and kill a man. It’s a chance for Gu-Nam to start again. There’s also the lure of being able to search for his missing wife.… Read more