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POETRY

Lee Chang-dong's subtle and moving film — told from the cryptic point of view of Mija (an outstanding Yun Jung-hee), his sexagenarian heroine — employs an obliqueness that is itself poetic. Vital and open-minded, Mija takes a poetry writing class. But lately she's been forgetting certain words, and the tests indicate an early stage of dementia; now the nouns are vanishing from her memory, and the verbs will soon follow. But she still remembers her grandson's culpability in a terrible crime and that she cannot be a party to injustice. As in Lonergan's Margaret, Lee's film affirms the power of art to transcend brutishness, comfort the violated, and achieve empathy.

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