Hospital thriller meets character portrait in this stylish Korean tale of a woman who never fitted in.

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Director Shin Su-won
Producer Francis Lim
Screenwriter Shin Su-won
With Seo Young-hee, Kwon So-hyun, Kim Young-min
South Korea 2015
120 mins
Sales Finecut

When a pregnant but comatose Jane Doe, nicknamed ‘Madonna’, arrives at a VIP hospital, she is swiftly earmarked as a heart-transplant donor by an unscrupulous businessman desperate to keep his chairman father alive at any cost. Moon, a new nurse at the hospital, is tasked with investigating the woman’s life and faces a test of her own moral mettle as she uncovers Madonna’s history – a lifelong string of personal and professional humiliations. In her sophomore feature, director Shin Su-won (Pluto) veers between intense hospital thriller and dramatic character portrait, with some sharply stylish filmmaking and a wide streak of black humour. Frequently pushing at the boundaries of taste, with an irreverent take on prostitution, body image and – most jarringly – sexual violence, the film is concerned with the abuse of power and emerges as a spirited polemic against exploitation, with a central character you won’t soon forget.

Kate Taylor