LKFF 2022: The Surrogate Woman

  • Director

    Im Kwon-taek

  • Cast

    Kang Soo-yeon, Lee Goo-soon, Yun Yang-ha, Kim Hyung-ja, Bang-hee

  • Release Date


  • Runtime

    95 mins

  • Cert


  • Awards

    Venice Film Festival 1987 - Best Actress

This screening will be accompanied by introduction.


Shin Sang-gyu has a problem: he is the last male heir in his branch of the Shin clan, and despite the close relationship with a beautiful and still young wife, they have no children, no son to carry on the family line. Uncle and grandmother confer and decide to seek out a surrogate from a village of women known for providing such ‘borrowed wombs’. Ong-nyeo, only seventeen, is chosen for the role. When passion carries her and Sang-gyu well outside the limits prescribed by Confucian family duties, the result will prove lethal.

Im Kwon-taek had the confidence and wisdom to make Kang Soo-yeon his Ong-nyeo, The role was the most significant one of her career: it allowed her to shed the image of cheerful, sparky girl/teenager and become the most remarkable actor of the next decade and a half. While the film was not a success at first release, that changed dramatically when the Venice film festival awarded her Best Actress for 1987–the first international film star of Korea.


Mark Morris