[SECTION 3] Cold War Theater / October 14th?19th

Special investigation headquarter A life of Miss Kim Su-Im

Korea, 1974, 102min, Color, 35mm

Lee Won-se

Director Lee Won-se worked on three episodes of the 1970s’ well-known anticommunist detective story Special Investigation Headquarter series, making one episode based on the case of a real person, Kim Su-Im. Kim Su-Im was working for the US Army Military Government in Korea in the 1940s. She was arrested while giving information to the Workers Party of South Korea as the mistress of an American colonel Baird. The film consists of Su-Im’s recollection of the past. She confesses her past to the prosecutor Oh Je-do. Later, Su-Im fell in love with a young man named
Lee Gang-guk and she got a job at a hospital. Then, Gang-guk went to North Korea following the order of a North Korean leader Park Heon-yeong. Gang-guk was executed on the charge of spying in North Korea while Su-Im was executed on the same charge in South Korea. Kim Su-Im was called a South Korean “Mata Hari” and her life was made into plays, movies and dramas many times.
Director Lee entered the film industry as a screenwriter and caught attention with Special Investigation Headquarter, a film series based on true stories of spy cases. His best known works include The Ball Shot by a Midget (1981), which is adapted from Cho Se-hee’s novel of the same title. This realist film depicts the beleaguered lives of the alienated lower classes during the process of Korea’s industrialization. It was selected as a winner at the Daejong Film Awards but the award was cancelled due to its sharp criticism of society.