The Bacchus Lady
A sex worker solicits older men in public parks by offering them bottles of Bacchus energy drink, in this wonderful funny/sad Korean melodrama.
Dir-Scr E J-yong
Prod Suh Dong-hyun
With Youn Yuh-jung, Chon Mu-song, Yoon Kye-sang
South Korea 2016
Sales M-Line Distribution
‘Don’t call me granny. My vagina is still young.’ Oh my! The Koreans really know how to make films about older women and this is a story of sex and death, but probably not as you’re expecting it. Youn Yuh-jung gives an astounding performance as our senior heroine So-young, the eponymous Lady whose profession as a sex worker has her soliciting elderly men in public parks by offering them bottles of Bacchus energy drink. In this melodrama that finds comedy in the darkest places, we follow So-young as she accidentally steals a child and is asked by former clients for merciful services beyond her profession. The breadth of emotional triggers and the range of social issues tackled here could, in lesser hands, be exhausting. However, director E J-yong peels through them all with deadpan humour and matter-of-fact gusto, creating a remarkably fine balance of audaciousness and sensitivity. You may laugh, but your heart will be broken.