The Housemaid

  |  Book Tickets: 01/01/1960
  |  Watch Now: 13/10/2010
  |  110 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC
The Housemaid Film Poster


Kim Ki-young’s Hanyo, or The Housemaid, is one of the true classics of South Korean cinema, and when I finally had the opportunity to see the picture, I was startled. That this intensely, even passionately claustrophobic film is known only to the most devoted film lovers in the west is one of the great accidents of film history. I’m proud that the World Cinema Foundation is participating in the restoration and preservation of this remarkable picture. I am eager for more people to get to know and love The Housemaid. —Martin Scorsese, February 2008 In the film, the composer sleeps with his housemaid while his wife is gone to her parents’ house; he loses everything to the housemaid with personality disorders. Viewers of the film said that the story could sufficiently occur in reality; at that time, many such incidents occurred. Many households could afford to hire housemaids for low costs; but housewives were worried about such situations at the back of their minds. I made a set for the two-story house, which I thought to be a miniature of the world. I made all accessories and furniture for the film on my own, and especially I worked hard on lighting. Viewers of the film praised the beautiful scenes, and asked me what was the secret; however, I did not readily give the answer. —Kim Ki-Young NOTES ON THE RESTORATION Hanyo (The Housemaid) has been restored digitally by the Korean Film Archive (KOFA) with the support of the World Cinema Foundation. The original negative of the film was found in 1982 with two missing reels, 5 and 8. In 1990 an original release print with hand-written English subtitles was found and used to complete the copy. This surviving print was highly damaged, and the English subtitles occupied almost half of the frame area. The long and complex restoration process has involved the use of a special subtitle-removal software and included flicker and grain reduction, scratch and dust removal, color grading.