Director: Lee Chang-dong
Cast: Moon So-ri, Sul Kyung-gu, Ahn Nae-sang
Cert 15 , 132mins, 2002
Venice Film Festival Silver Lion
Marcello Mastroianni Award
Jong-du (Sul Kyung-gu, Memoir of a Murderer), introduced to the viewer as he finishes his sentence for manslaughter, traces the family of his victim and meets Gong-ju (Moon So-ri, Little Forest), a woman with cerebral palsy. A surprising maturity occurs as a significant bond grows between the two characters; both considered a burden by their own families. Luckily, they find each other, but how will others react to this unconventional attraction?
Premiering at Busan Festival in 2002, Oasis has been an international success; as have Lee Chang-dong’s other blockbusters - Peppermint Candy (1998) and his recent Burning (2018). It won Lee the 2003 Venice Film Festival Silver Lion for Best Direction and the film’s star, Moon So-ri, the Marcello Mastroianni Award.
Oasis paints a picture of a taboo kind of love; a type of love that is rarely portrayed and is often neglected in cinema. Whilst the love presented in the film is sparked by a moment of confusion and rage, it later blossoms into something life-affirming for both protagonists. It shows a love that only Jong-du and Gong-ju can understand.