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Oasis (2002)

“Oasis” is a 2002 South Korean film about the difficult romance between a man with criminal records and a cerebral-palsied woman.

Direction and screenplay by Lee Chang-dong. The third feature-length film directed by Lee Chang-dong. 132 minutes.

A moving drama film about the pure love of the people who are socially alienated and are regarded as nuisances by their families. It also contains some dreamy fantasy scenes.

A mildly mentally disabled man who had criminal records of assault and attempted rape, Hong Jong-du (Sol Kyung-gu) is released from jail after a two-and-a-half year sentence for fatal hit-and-run accident.

He returns to his family in Seoul, but his family disfavor him as a nuisance.

He visits the family of the man he killed in the hit-and-run accident. He finds the man’s son, Han Sang-shik (Son Byong-ho) and his wife are moving out, leaving his sister Gong-ju (Moon So-ri) behind at an apartment.

Though Gong-ju has difficulty in body movement and communicating because of severe cerebral palsy, Sang-shik and his wife leave Gong-ju in the care of the husband and wife next door, and start living in a public housing for families with disabled members, pretending to live with Gong-ju.

Jong-du tried to rape Gong-ju at first, but Jong-du and Gong-ju become attracted to each other.

They fall into an intimate relationship, but their relationship causes an incident because the people around them don’t understand it.

Moon So-ri’s realistic performance is impressive.

The film won awards in numerous film festivals, such as Silver Lion for Best Direction (Lee Chang-dong) and Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Performance by an Emerging Actor or Actress (Moon So-ri) at the 2002 Venice International Film Festival.

Two disabled people fall in love, but face discrimination | Clip from 'Oasis'