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Runtime: 100 min

Release: October 17, 1981

Director: Won-se Lee


Writer: Se-hie Jo

Country: South Korea

language: Korean

A Ball Shot by a Midget

Nanjeongiga soaolrin jakeun kong 난장이가 쏘아올린 작은 공
  • Movie
  • Korean


When an entire generation embraces the concepts and sentiments a writer expresses in a novel, that's the clear sign of a masterpiece. Jo Se Hee's 1976 short novel A Ball Shot by a Midget was born in a period when the government actively censored popular culture. The themes presented in the novel, such as the conditions of labor workers and their movement in the 70s, made such an impression at the time that the student movement of the 80s used this text as a sort of manifesto. Lee Won Se, who entered the industry as an assistant cinematographer for legendary director Kim Su Yong and later won a script contest sponsored by leading newspaper Donga Ilbo, was chosen as the director who would bring this masterpiece to the big screen in 1981. Midget Kim Bul Yi managed to build a happy family despite economic difficulties and social discrimination. Forced to move out of town, his family is cheated by a real estate agent and their life is thrown upside down, until Bul Yi's daughter tries to get the rights to their house back. Starring the legendary Ahn Sung Ki (Hanbando), A Ball Shot by a Midget was recently voted among the best ten Korean films of all time in an online poll, which is perhaps some measure of consolation for the filmmakers. The film almost broke the all-time record at the Dae Jong Film Awards, having received nominations in all categories, but three hours before airtime all the nominations were canceled, leaving the director and cast speechless.