The Classified File

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Kwak’s magnificent thriller recreates a real-life Busan kidnapping case from 1978, and opens with a whirlwind montage of student protests, news clips and pop-culture imagery to evoke time under military government – and the police corruption that was rampant. Eun-joo, young daughter of a wealthy magnate, is kidnapped on her way home from school. At first, her desperate parents hear nothing; they request that the weary, seen-it-all cop Gil-yong (Kim Yun-seok) be assigned to the case and, to Gil-yong’s annoyance, also bring in the psychic Joong-san (Yoo Hae-jin) to help. The kidnapper finally does make contact, but several attempts to pay him a ransom hit brick walls. 33 days after Eun-joo’s disappearance, matters come to a head up north in Seoul, where Gil-yong finds his efforts sabotaged by rival sections of the force. Can Joong-san’s intuitions help? often has the feel of a drama-doc and is nothing like , but it uses a police investigation as a key to important truths about Korean society in much the way that Bong Joon Ho’s film did. Kwak Kyung-taek has always been at his best when digging into Busan histories, and this is likely his most resonant work yet. And the suspense is killing.

By Tony Rayns

Film info
2015. Directed by Kwak Kyung-taek, starring Kim Yun-seok, Yoo Hae-jin, 108 mins.

Date: Thursday 12 Nov 2015, 18:30
Venue: Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, London W1B 2UW

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