Sa Bangji

Song Kyung-shik
South Korea

Genesis Cinema

29 April



Presented in 4K restoration, this rediscovered classic dramatizes the mythology of Sa Bangji, an intersex person who according to historical records lived during Korea’s Joseon Dynasty. Taken in by a kindly benefactor, Sa Bangji lives in a monastery that is one day visited by a young widow, Lee So-sa, who is in mourning following the death of her husband. The pair’s meeting seems predestined, with the erotic attraction between Sa Bangji and Lee So-sa soon evolving into something far more transcendent – and dangerous. Lee Hye-young gives an incredible performance as the hero-heroine in this unsettling and provocative work, a film that refuses to shy away from the horrendous stigmatization faced by its character. While aspects of the film – its stylised depiction of female actors and sex – identify it as a product of its time, Sa Bangji is undeniably a milestone in screen representations of intersex people.