“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 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.
“Oasis” is 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.
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.