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'Take Care of My Cat'
A fitting symbol for the vitality of Korea's young women
Darcy Paquet (internews)     Print Article 
Published 2006-04-08 13:58 (KST)   
"Koreans don't like cats," says director Jeong Jae-eun. "Cats are fussy, independent, and don't listen to what you tell them. If they don't like their home, they simply leave." For Jeong, an avid cat lover, the animals are also a fitting symbol for the vitality and attitude of Korea's young women. "Take Care of My Cat" tells the story of such women (and their cat) with a freshness and originality that places it among the best films of the year.

"Take Care of My Cat"is the first film directed by a Korean woman to be released in close to three years. Although a large number of women directors are poised to debut in the near future, this is nonetheless an indication of how male voices have continued to dominate Korean cinema. "There have been no movies in the past that have depicted well how young Korean women think, how they play and what they worry about," says the director. "I hope that this film can give audiences a sense of what young Korean women are like and how beautiful they are."

The film tells the story of five women who are just beginning their lives after graduating from high school. Each of the women face different challenges, be it family or money, but they are united in their need to try new things and to be taken seriously. The plot traces several stories at once, but highlights the conflicts its protagonists face both among themselves and with a society that largely overlooks them.

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One of the most exciting aspects of this film is the new talent it highlights. This is the first feature film by director Jeong Jae-eun, following a string of award-winning short films. This movie will hopefully be only the start of a long and interesting career. Many of the actors in the film are rising stars as well, particularly Bae Doona (poised perhaps to break out into a major star in 2002) and Lee Yo-won.

This movie seems to get on the inside of what it is like to be young. From its ultra-cool soundtrack to its clever use of text messaging, the film is filled with memorable details that remain long in the viewer's memory.
Darcy Paquet writes for Variety magazine and is also a programme consultant for the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy. A native of Massachusetts, he has been living in Korea since 1997.
©2006 OhmyNews

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