You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Juvenile Offender

Bearing a superficial resemblance to Venice prizewinner "Pieta," but actually more in sync with classic neorealism.

Cast:
With: Lee Jung-hyun, Seo Young-ju, Jun Ye-jin.

Bearing a superficial resemblance to Venice prizewinner “Pieta,” but actually more in sync with classic neorealism, South Korean family drama “Juvenile Offender” centers on 16-year-old Ji-gu (Seo Young-ju), who meets the mother who abandoned him for the first time as he exits a correctional facility for underage law-breakers. Simultaneously bleak and humanistic, writer-director Kang Yikwan’s intimate look at a national problem reveals the myriad ways bad decisions trickle down through generations, while offering a slim ray of hope for a clan awkwardly attempting to make amends. Though admirable, the emotionally restrained approach seems better suited to fests than to commercial play.

“Can you forgive me just this once?” asks Ji-gu every time he faces a system whose harsh punishments serve more to derail than reform delinquent kids. Upon exiting, he learns his teenage g.f. (Jun Yejin) had not only been pregnant, but had to give away the baby — a discovery that suggests their bad luck will carry on if the clan can’t pull together. Using authentic locations and a poignant arm’s-length style, helmer Kang steers clear of either sensationalism or the sentimentality of a made-for-TV treatment.

Juvenile Offender

South Korea

Production: A National Human Rights Commission of Korea, TimeStory, South Park Film presentation of a National Human Rights Commission of Korea, South Park Films production. (International sales: Finecut, Seoul.) Produced by Park Joo-young. Executive producers, Hyun Byung-chul, Kang Yik-wan. Directed by Kang Yik-wan. Screenplay, Kang, Park Joo-young.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Byun Bong-sun; editor, Park Yook-yung, Kim Jin-hee; music, Kang Min-kook; production designer, Park Ji-hyun; costume designer, Han Yeah-joon. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 11, 2012. Running time: 107 MIN.

Cast: With: Lee Jung-hyun, Seo Young-ju, Jun Ye-jin.

More Scene

  • HBO Presents-Night of Too Many Stars

    Jon Stewart, Other A-List Comics Skip Over Louis C.K. at 'Night of Too Many Stars'

    Bearing a superficial resemblance to Venice prizewinner “Pieta,” but actually more in sync with classic neorealism, South Korean family drama “Juvenile Offender” centers on 16-year-old Ji-gu (Seo Young-ju), who meets the mother who abandoned him for the first time as he exits a correctional facility for underage law-breakers. Simultaneously bleak and humanistic, writer-director Kang Yikwan’s […]

  • Variety Hitmakers Brunch

    Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, Hailee Steinfeld Honored at Inaugural Variety Hitmakers Event

    Bearing a superficial resemblance to Venice prizewinner “Pieta,” but actually more in sync with classic neorealism, South Korean family drama “Juvenile Offender” centers on 16-year-old Ji-gu (Seo Young-ju), who meets the mother who abandoned him for the first time as he exits a correctional facility for underage law-breakers. Simultaneously bleak and humanistic, writer-director Kang Yikwan’s […]

  • The 'Runaways' Praise Series' Diversity at

    'Marvel's Runaways' Stars Praise Series' Diversity at Hulu Premiere

    Bearing a superficial resemblance to Venice prizewinner “Pieta,” but actually more in sync with classic neorealism, South Korean family drama “Juvenile Offender” centers on 16-year-old Ji-gu (Seo Young-ju), who meets the mother who abandoned him for the first time as he exits a correctional facility for underage law-breakers. Simultaneously bleak and humanistic, writer-director Kang Yikwan’s […]

  • 'Molly's Game' film premiere, Arrivals, AFI

    Jessica Chastain Praises Bravery of Sexual Assault Victims at 'Molly's Game' Premiere, AFI Fest Tribute to Aaron Sorkin

    Bearing a superficial resemblance to Venice prizewinner “Pieta,” but actually more in sync with classic neorealism, South Korean family drama “Juvenile Offender” centers on 16-year-old Ji-gu (Seo Young-ju), who meets the mother who abandoned him for the first time as he exits a correctional facility for underage law-breakers. Simultaneously bleak and humanistic, writer-director Kang Yikwan’s […]

  • 'The Shape of Water' film premiere

    Guillermo del Toro Calls 'The Shape of Water' a New Type of 'Beauty and the Beast'

    Bearing a superficial resemblance to Venice prizewinner “Pieta,” but actually more in sync with classic neorealism, South Korean family drama “Juvenile Offender” centers on 16-year-old Ji-gu (Seo Young-ju), who meets the mother who abandoned him for the first time as he exits a correctional facility for underage law-breakers. Simultaneously bleak and humanistic, writer-director Kang Yikwan’s […]

  • HFPA and InStyle celebrate Golden Globe

    HFPA President Meher Tatna, Simone Garcia Johnson Celebrate New 'Inclusive' Golden Globe Ambassador Title

    Bearing a superficial resemblance to Venice prizewinner “Pieta,” but actually more in sync with classic neorealism, South Korean family drama “Juvenile Offender” centers on 16-year-old Ji-gu (Seo Young-ju), who meets the mother who abandoned him for the first time as he exits a correctional facility for underage law-breakers. Simultaneously bleak and humanistic, writer-director Kang Yikwan’s […]

  • Girls Inc. hosts the 2017 LA

    Warner Bros. TV Exec Calls for End to Sexual Harassment: 'Enough Is Enough'

    Bearing a superficial resemblance to Venice prizewinner “Pieta,” but actually more in sync with classic neorealism, South Korean family drama “Juvenile Offender” centers on 16-year-old Ji-gu (Seo Young-ju), who meets the mother who abandoned him for the first time as he exits a correctional facility for underage law-breakers. Simultaneously bleak and humanistic, writer-director Kang Yikwan’s […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content