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 made quite a formidable team in the Kazakh New Wave of the 1980s 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 eighteenth 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. 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.

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