Han Gong-ju

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Han Gong-ju
Directed by Lee Su-jin
Produced by Lee Su-jin
Written by Lee Su-jin
Starring Chun Woo-hee
Music by Kim Tae-seong
Cinematography Hong Jae-sik
Edited by Choe Hyeon-suk
Distributed by CGV Movie Collage
Release dates
Running time 112 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean

Han Gong-ju (Hangul: 한공주) is a 2013 South Korean film written and directed by Lee Su-jin, starring Chun Woo-hee in the title role.[1][2][3][4] It is based on the infamous Miryang gang rape case in 2004.[5]

The film premiered at the 2013 Busan International Film Festival where it won the CGV Movie Collage Award and the Citizen Reviewers' Award.[6]

As it traveled the international film festival circuit, Han Gong-ju won several top prizes, including the Golden Star at the 2013 Marrakech International Film Festival,[7][8] the Tiger Award (given to films that "give young filmmakers a voice" and "push boundaries") at the 2014 International Film Festival Rotterdam,[9] and the Jury Prize, the Critics' Prize, and the Audience Award at the 2014 Deauville Asian Film Festival.[10][11][12]

The Rotterdam jury praised it as "a skillfully crafted and highly accomplished debut. Deviating from classicist structure, this film lures the spectator to participate in the pleasures of storytelling through an extraordinary and intricate narrative puzzle."[13][14]

Han Gong-ju was released in theaters on April 17, 2014.


The film is a coming-of-age story about a high school student, the titular Han Gong-ju, who loses her friend in a terrible gang rape incident and is pressured to leave her family and move to another school by the perpetrators' parents. To escape scandal, she finds herself living in the home of her former teacher's mother in a different neighborhood. After transferring to a new school, the withdrawn and traumatized Gong-ju keeps to herself and tries to move on from what happened. But she is befriended by Eun-hee, who convinces her to join an a cappella club. When news gets out of Gong-ju's new hobby, a group of parents of her former classmates causes a stir. Living with a stranger and cold to her new classmates, it takes a long time for Gong-ju's troubled past to catch up with her, but when it does the revelation is devastating.[15][16]


  • Chun Woo-hee as Han Gong-ju
  • Jung In-sun as Eun-hee
  • Lee Young-ran as Ms. Lee
  • Kim So-young as Hwa-ok

Box office[edit]

Han Gong-ju was released on just over 200 screens (a sizeable exposure for a Korean independent film), and through strong word of mouth, it was a hit with critics and audiences. On its opening day on April 17, 2014, approximately 10,000 people watched the film, but this increased at an unprecedented pace, crossing the 100,000 admissions mark (an enormous benchmark for a Korean independent production) in just nine days, which was quicker than the pace of recent indie favorites, such as Breathless (2009) in 19 days and Bedevilled (2010) in ten. As of April 29, it reached the 150,000 audience mark, breaking the record of Jiseul (2013), which sold 140,490 tickets in 12 days.[17]

As of May 9, Han Gong-ju had exceeded 200,000 viewers, making it one of the most successful Korean independent films of all time. Amid the opening of such large scale commercial films as The Fatal Encounter, The Target and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it has succeeded in attracting average audiences of 2,000 on any week day.[18]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
18th Busan International Film Festival
CGV Movie Collage Award
Han Gong-ju
Citizen Reviewers' Award Won
13th Marrakech International Film Festival
Golden Star Won
43rd International Film Festival Rotterdam
Tiger Award Won
16th Deauville Asian Film Festival
Jury Prize Won
Critics' Prize Won
Audience Award Won
18th Fantasia International Film Festival
Audience Award, Best Asian Film - Silver Won
14th Director's Cut Awards
Best New Actress Chun Woo-hee Won
Best Independent Film Director Lee Su-jin Won
23rd Buil Film Awards[19]
Best Film Han Gong-ju Nominated
Best Director Lee Su-jin Nominated
Best Actress Chun Woo-hee Nominated
Best New Director Lee Su-jin Nominated
Best New Actress Chun Woo-hee Nominated
Best Screenplay Lee Su-jin Nominated
34th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards[20]
Best Actress Chun Woo-hee Won
Best Screenplay Lee Su-jin Won
Critics' Top 10 Han Gong-ju Won
51st Grand Bell Awards[21]
Best Actress Chun Woo-hee Nominated
Best New Director Lee Su-jin Nominated
Best Screenplay Lee Su-jin Nominated


  1. ^ Song, Soon-jin (23 December 2013). "LEE Su-jin, Director of HAN GONG-JU: "Not Even a Single Cut Was Wasted"". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  2. ^ Lee, Su-jin (10 March 2014). "Director of HAN GONG-JU Shares Behind-the-Scenes Look at Film Festival Scene". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  3. ^ Lee, Eun-sun; Kim, Na-hyun (24 April 2014). "Chun Woo-hee, forgettable no more". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  4. ^ "Starlet Delivers Nuanced Performance as Rape Victim". The Chosun Ilbo. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  5. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (28 March 2014). "Anger grabs center stage in acclaimed film Han Gong-ju". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  6. ^ Conran, Pierce (13 October 2013). "All Eyes on Asia's Largest Film Festival". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  7. ^ Jackson, Julie (8 December 2013). "Han Gong-ju wins Golden Star at Marrakech film festival". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  8. ^ Conran, Pierce (9 December 2013). "HAN GONG-JU Wins Top Prize in Marrakech". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  9. ^ "Korean film wins top award at Rotterdam fest". The Korea Herald. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  10. ^ Conran, Pierce (10 March 2014). "Triple Honors for HAN GONG-JU in Deauville". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  11. ^ Jin, Eun-soo (10 March 2014). "Han Gong-ju grabs 3 awards". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  12. ^ "Korean Indie Flick Sweeps Awards at French Film Festival". The Chosun Ilbo. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  13. ^ Conran, Pierce (4 February 2014). "HAN GONG-JU Wins Tiger Award in Rotterdam". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  14. ^ Kim, Hee-eun (4 February 2014). "Han Gong-ju wins at festival". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  15. ^ Conran, Pierce (22 November 2013). "HAN GONG-JU to Compete in Marrakech". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  16. ^ Conran, Pierce (13 January 2014). "HAN GONG-JU to Compete in Rotterdam". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  17. ^ Conran, Pierce (1 May 2014). "HAN GONG-JU Crosses JISEUL Box Office Total: Hard-Hitting Indie on Impressive Run". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
  18. ^ Park, Jin-hai (11 May 2014). "Han Gong-ju draws 200,000 viewers". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  19. ^ Kim, June (6 October 2014). "SHIM Eun-kyung, SONG Kang-ho, HONG Sangsoo and ROARING CURRENTS Win at 23rd Buil Film Awards". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  20. ^ Conran, Pierce (4 November 2014). "Top Honors for HILL OF FREEDOM at 34th Korean Film Critics Association Awards". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-11-08. 
  21. ^ Kim, June (12 November 2014). "The 51st Daejong Film Awards Nominations Announced". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-11-12. 

External links[edit]