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Hwayi: A Monster Boy
(Hwayi: Gwimuleul samkin ai)

Directed by Jang Joon-hwan.
With Kim Yoon-seok, Cho Jin-woong, Jang Hyun-sung.
South Korea, 2013, DCP, color, 126 min.
Korean with English subtitles.
DCP source: Showbox

Accidentally kidnapped by a notorious gang of dangerous killers and thieves, a young boy is raised by the merciless criminals as an assassin in training and given the name of Hwayi. Despite his predictably difficult childhood and adolescence, Hwayi seems remarkably stable, gradually revealing innate artistic talents and interests that complement his growing skills as a precision shooter and get-away driver. Jang’s film balances a similarly unlikely dual personality as both an intense action-driven thriller and a strange coming-of-age drama that delivers a direct critique of patriarchal authority through the figure of the inherently abusive false family. Slated for an English language remake, Hwayi: A Monster Boy extends in another direction Jang’s interest in understanding the unique experience and point-of-view of those who have been marked as society’s outcasts because of rigid class hierarchy and discrimination against those on the spectrum.

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Of Men and Monsters - The Films of Jang Joon-hwan

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