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Directed by: Shin Su-won 2015 | 120 min.

Section: Spotlight on Korea

Premiere: Hawaii Premiere

Countries: South Korea

Languages: Korean, with English subtitles

Genres: Drama, Halekulani Golden Orchid Nominee, Social Issues, Women


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Private, elite hospitals for the rich are big business. Nurse’s aide Hae-Rim (Seo Young-Hee) and Doctor Hyuk-Gyu (Byun Yo-Han) are in charge of patient Chul-Ho, who just so happens to be the owner of such a medical care facility. He is completely paralyzed and awaiting a heart transplant. Chul-Ho’s son Sang-Woo (Kim Young-Min), orders the staff to extend Chul-Ho’s life expectancy, in order to buy time and find a donor match.

Hae-rim is constantly badgered by the patients as they request “special treatment” and complain about her dour appearance and demeanor. Hae-rim simply goes through the motions, working her shift as if she’s a walking zombie. In one of these rounds, she checks in on an almost forgotten patient, Mi-Na, who is in a coma. To her shock, she is a donor match to CEO Chul-ho. Cold blooded Sang-Woo is informed and if he had his way, he’d cut her heart out at that instant. Instead, he makes a deal with Hae-rim — Find Mi-Na’s family and have them sign the organ donation consent form, by any means necessary. She accepts the deal, because of her own dire financial situation and embarks on a journey to find the family, with the only clue being that Mi-Na’s nickname was “Madonna.” As she unravels the mystery, she discovers the shocking secret of Mi-Na’s past and how it reflects her own.

MADONNA exposes a dark world of bad men and the victims that are left in their wake, usually forgotten and disposed of. Newcomer So-hyun Kwon, as the zaftig and innocent Mi-Na aka “Madonna,” turns in a daring performance that lives up to that name as a martyr to the countless women, who are abused by Korean patriarchy. Director Shin Su-won, who is female, weaves a tragic tale of discarded women, who sometimes find hope and resolution in the most uncommon ways.
— Anderson Le

This film is nominated for the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for Best Narrative. Director Shin Su-Won will be in attendance for the first screening of the film.


Friday, November 13 8:45 PM Dole Cannery D Date Passed
Tuesday, November 17 8:30 PM Dole Cannery C Date Passed

Cast & Crew

Director Shin Su-won
Producer Francis Lim
Cast Kwon So-hyun, Yoo Soon-chul, Byun Yo-han, Seo Young-hee, Kim Young-min
Cinematographer Yun Ji-woon
Editor Lee Do-hyun
Writer Shin Su-won
Other Crew KIM Eligio, Woo-jin JO, Ho-ik JUNG, Seong-hun KANG, Jeong-mi KIM, Soo-hyun KIM, Nam-sik KIM, Shin-hye LEE, Sun-young LEE, Jae-ah RYU
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