Chang-dong Lee

Chang-dong Lee's POETRY and the world of MEN

Article: Chang-dong Lee's POETRY and the world of MEN

I saw POETRY last week and was moved by many elements, one of which being the simple fact that this long, contemplative feature is about — sit down now — an elderly female protagonist. Hollywood it ain’t. Sixty-six year old Mija (Jeong-hie Yun) has two recent challenges: memory loss and a sullen teenage grandson, whose escapades with his friends, we later discover, make the trouble one hundred fold for his grandma. In fact, in Lee’s accomplished second feature, the world of men – their desires and back-room dealings — are the root of most of Mija’s problems, and her quiet strategies toward solutions are a major force of subversion, even rebellion. But does she feel like a kick-ass protagonist with a big bad agenda? Hell, no.