Magazine article Screen International

El Condor Pasa

Magazine article Screen International

El Condor Pasa

Article excerpt

Dir: Jeon Soo-il. South Korea. 101mins

Mirroring the themes of religion, grief and forgiveness found in Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine (2007), El Condor Pasa is a compelling addition to Jeon Soo-ill's body of work, which should continue its festival run following its world premiere in Busan, but lacks the substance found in Lee's award-winning feature.

El Condor Pasa attempts to explore whether religion can aid in forgiveness, or merely becomes a fruitless endeavour.

Jeon Soo-il is no stranger to the festival circuit, and has built a reputation for his realist form of filmmaking and El Condor Paso is emblematic of this style through a number of long takes and minimal interference.

Most of the film takes place in Busan where Jeon has established his roots as it follows a catholic priest who begins a relationship with a woman after her younger sister is raped and murdered. The priest then takes a trip to Peru to visit an old friend as he sets out toss seek forgiveness for his transgressions.

Unlike Lee's film, its shorter duration and less grueling narrative makes it a generally more tolerable feature, but Jeon's typical austere approach makes a number of scenes including an overly drawn-out sex scene an uncomfortable viewing. …

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