South Korean Cinema: Aimless Bullet

Aimless Bullet

South Korea | 1961 | 110 min. | Yu Hyun-mok

April 9, 2023

South Korean Cinema: An Unconventional Crash Course

In the aftermath of the Korean War, an accountant is stretched past his breaking point trying to provide for his impoverished family, all while nursing a never-ending toothache.

In the aftermath of the Korean War, accountant Cheol-ho struggles to provide for his ailing wife, his traumatized mother, his sex worker sister, his out-of-work brother, and two young kids—all while nursing a toothache he can’t afford to fix. Considered by many the “greatest Korean film of all time” or “Korea’s Citizen Kane,Aimless Bullet blends influences from Italian neo-realism (Bicycle Thieves), tragically beautiful source material, and on-location shooting of a recently war-ravaged Seoul to bring the trauma and inhumanity of war into stark relief.

Content Advisory: Discussion of and depiction of suicide.

  • Director: Yu Hyun-mok
  • Principal Cast: Mu-ryong Choi, Jin Kyu Kim, Jeong-suk Moon, Ae-ja Seo, Hye-jeong Kim
  • Country: South Korea
  • Year: 1961
  • Running Time: 110 min.
  • Producer: Seong-chun Kim
  • Screenplay: I-ryeong Lee, Jong-gi Lee
  • Cinematographers: Hak-seong Kim
  • Editors: Hui-su Kim
  • Music: Seong-tae Kim
  • Language: Korean