Oasis. 2002. South Korea. Written and directed by Lee Chang-dong. With Moon So-ri, Sol Kyung-gu. 35mm. In Korean; English subtitles. 133 min.
The most innocent love meets the harshest reality when a socially inept ex-convict falls in love with a woman with severe cerebral palsy. Fresh out of jail, and with little desire to clean up, Jong-du (Sol Kyung-gu) is considered a nuisance by his own family. When he accidentally meets Gong-ju (Moon So-ri), who is trapped in a small apartment by a brother who exploits her for government assistance, an unlikely romance blossoms. When their union meets insurmountable obstacles, only fantasy can provide liberation; sparks of magical realism offer some escape in this improbable tale about two people forsaken by reality. Moon’s fearless performance won her the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor at the Venice Film Festival, where Lee Chang-dong also received the Special Director’s Award.