Directed by Park Chan-ok
23 November 2012
The film tells the tale of a teenage schoolgirl and her complex relationship with her older sister’s husband. Set in the city where it takes its name from – a longtime military area and now a developing city located close to the North/South Korean border – the film's elegant and well-constructed narrative deals with guilt, mystery, love and redemption, as well as the psychological layers of its characters. The film also offers a vivid glimpse into Korean society and the struggles faced by some residents of Paju. The result is both uniquely Korean and universally resonant.
Eun-mo is back in her hometown of Paju after spending three years of soul-searching in India. However, the reality she returns to is far from comforting as she is faced with many difficulties. A demolition squad threatens to tear down the apartment block that she lives in. The tenants of the apartment fight tooth and nail to prevent this. She also dreads the reunion with her widower brother-in-law, Joong-shik, the anti-demolition task force leader who has information about insurance policies and about her sister’s tragic death.
This film is Park Chan-ok's long-awaited follow-up to her critically praised 2002 debut, Jealousy Is My Middle Name. Paju played to highly impressed reviews in its debut at the Pusan International Film Festival. The PIFF jury awarded the film the NETPAC Award, describing it as "a fine example of passionate, high-quality filmmaking." In 2010, Paju became the first ever Korean film to open the International Film Festival Rotterdam and to compete at the Tribeca Film Festival.