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SHIRI aka SWIRI


Year: 1999
USA: Samsung Entertainment Group
UK: Metro Tartan Distribution
Cast: Han Suk-kyu, Choi Min-sik, Song Kang-ho, Kim Yoon-jin, Derek Kim
Director: Kang Je-Gyu
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean (English subtitles)
USA: 124 mins
UK: 125 mins
USA Rated: R for strong violence and some language
UK Certificate: 18 contains strong bloody violence
USA Release Date: 8 February 2002 (Limited Release - Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco)
UK Release Date: 2 May 2003

Synopsis

Furiously kinetic and exquisitely heartbreaking, SHIRI has captivated audiences across Asia with its relentless pace and the raw, wounded politics at its core. Writer/director/producer Kang Je-Gyu has taken the flashy American action movie and given it a heart and a brain to create a blockbuster that truly matters.

Shiri refers to a freshwater fish that swims in both North and South Korea's streams. Shiri can survive only in the clearest water and, during spawning season, travels upstream against the swiftest currents - a painfully beautiful symbol of the freedom, innocence, and peace that should normally travel the politically divided lands.

Frozen in an endless cold war with its poverty-stricken, communist neighbour to the North, South Korea is policed by a task force of special agents who rush from crisis to calamity, rooting out infiltrators, pursuing rumors of war, and chasing terrorists who vanish like ghosts. For ten years, a highly efficient North Korean sniper named Hee has dragged special agents Ryu and Lee through bloody crime scenes before suddenly vanishing. Now, without warning, she's back and with her is a team of North Korean commandos who have infiltrated Seoul and masterminded the theft of an experimental explosive.

As civilian targets are bombed, Agent Lee finds himself trapped in a whirlwind of fear and paranoia as the two women in his life -- the assassin Hee and mysterious love interest, Hyun -- pull him in opposite directions and, in the blink of an eye, the personal becomes the political and affairs of the heart become affairs of state. Whip smart and lightening fast, Asia's modern action film is now set to make its mark on America.

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