When her son is stricken by illness, Eul-hwa seeks help from the village shaman/wise-woman. She discovers her own connection to mudang traditions and undergoes training with the older woman as her shin-eom-ni, spirit-mother. The bond between them will eventually turn into a bitter rivalry. More fateful still will be Eul-hwa’s confrontation with her own grown son when he returns home a self-righteous Christian.
This melodramatic treatment of the conflict between generations and different religious beliefs is based on a well-known novel by Kim Dong-ni. Kim Ji-mee gives a powerful performance as Eul-hwa, anticipating her mature roles in 1980s films like Gilsotteum (1986) and Ticket (1986). This was a comeback of one of the great divas of the 1960s ‘golden age’. Her refusal to appear on TV, then the scandal surrounding her marriage to a popular singer ten-years younger, had taken the shine off her reputation in the preceding decade.
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