Director: Byun Young-joo
On Christmas eve the world of Mi-heun, a housewife, is shattered by the discovery that her quiet country doctor husband is a womaniser, fixated on having sex with women. She and her family carry on as if nothing has happened, although she is haunted and suffers from headaches. Then one day she meets In-kyu and is propositioned with a dangerous game of sex that would never allow for love.
At first she refuses, but soon she falls into it body and soul, increasingly enjoying the game. Meanwhile, her husband wants to build a pond outside their house in the hope that cultivating a backyard pond with fish might help them forget everything and make them happy again. But rumours circulate in the village about Mi-heun and In-kyu. What awaits the two lovers who know no end to their dangerous game?
Kim Jae-yeon, Byun Young-joo (based on the novel by Jeon Kyung-lin)
Kim Yun-jin, Lee Jong-won
Production: Fun and Happiness / 35mm / colour / 110 mins.
Director Byung Young-joo has had a long career as a documentary filmmaker with A Woman Being in Asia (1993), The Murmuring: A History of Korean Women (1995) and Habitual Sadness (1997).
In Ardor, her debut film, she chose the 'passionate melodrama' feature as a genre. She has observed and inquired into female psychology in depth, and her female characters differ greatly from their passive roles in other melodramas in Korean cinema.