Alive (산다 San-da)
Directed by PARK Jung-bum
Starring: LEE Seung-yeon, PARK Jung-bum, PARK Myeong-hoon
2014. South Korea. 175 min. DCP. In Korean with English subtitles.
A follow up to Park Jung-bum’s powerful debut neorealist drama The Journals of Musan, Alive is a continuation of the director/writer/actor’s exploration of the issues of poverty, inequality, and human suffering in contemporary capitalist societies. In this film, he portrays a construction worker in the Gangwon province who tries to make ends meet and support his mentally unstable sister and young niece. The more effort he puts into improving their living condition, the more odds stack up against him. The film offers a powerful portrait of survival in the worst circumstances and conveys PARK’s compassion for those struggling on the margins of society.