4.5, Korea


2002 / Lee Chang-dong > One of the greatest, if not arguably the most unexpected, love stories ever captured on film, Oasis is a tour de force of emotion from one of Korea’s finest directors. It’s an awkward but endearing tale of discovery between a woman with cerebral palsy and a man, fresh out of jail, who seems to be not completely there. Both Moon So-ri’s performance as the woman and Sol Kyung-gu as the man are arguably the best duo seen in Korean film in the last five years.

In direct contrast to Lee’s Peppermint Candy, which delved into the psyche of the modern Korean man, here he brings forth the universal ideal that everyone deserves to love and be loved. There are many occasions during the film where it becomes hard, even painful, to watch, but the sense of payoff is grand when the credits roll. Oasis is a true testament to the power of film.