Poetry review

Ponderous Korean cinema, what a nice change.

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When the title comes up beside a body floating down a river, it’s clear Poetry won’t be as demure as it sounds.

Chang-dong Lee’s film centres on Mija (the outstanding Jeong-hie Yun), who’s developing Alzheimer’s and, unsettled by losing her grasp on words, joins a poetry class.

But finding beauty in banality becomes even harder when her sullen grandson’s implicated in the rape of a classmate who committed suicide.

Devoid of the ultra-violence so often associated with Korean cinema, Poetry is quiet and unhurried, making its portrait of social bleakness all the more impactful.