Revenge

Ermek Shinarbaev, Kazakhstan, 1987; 100m
Revenge
There have been plenty of films based on the theme of revenge, but there's never been one like this. Director Ermek Shinarbaev and his writing partner Anatoly Kim arguably kicked off the Kazakh New Wave with My Sister Lucie in 1985. They made quite a formidable team in the 80s and 90s, and this is their masterpiece. The action begins after a brief but potent prologue set in the court of a young king during the 18th century. Flash forward to Korea at the turn of the last century. In a fit of anger, a resentful teacher murders a child, then flees his village. The parents seek revenge, and the father spends ten years tracking down his prey, only to lose his chance at the ultimate moment. The mother has him take on a second wife, in order to give birth to a son who will grow up to carry out the task. Shinarbaev and Kim trace the current of revenge as it mutates across a broad span of time, and this carefully crafted, artfully precise film keeps deepening in mystery and suspense until it reaches its transcendent end point.