Anna, sentenced to prison for murdering her brutal husband, is granted a brief leave of absence to attend her mother’s funeral in Seattle. On her way there she meets Hoon, a Korean immigrant who makes his living as a callboy. Both are outsiders – Anna as the outcast of her Chinese family, Hoon as a man being hunted down by a jealous husband. Two lonely souls who suddenly find what they had no longer dared to seek: a great love. But not only Anna’s return to prison looms ominously – Hoon’s past unexpectedly drives their joint future in a tragic direction.
Man chu, the movie version of a novel and a remake at the same time, portrays two fundamentally different characters united in their lack of direction. Director Kim Tae-Yong finds settings of painful beauty in the Seattle autumn. A fairground sequence of breathtaking emotional density is also visually one of the most outstanding moments of the cinematic year. In perfect harmony with the remarkable performances of the protagonists, the pointed dialogues at the Chinese funeral ceremony reveal with great precision the deep divides within a family. Man chu is great emotional cinema which goes beyond sentimentality and moves the audience to tears. –Berlinale