Who is Mr. Lee, the elusive boss of a mighty criminal organization? His name is only whispered in Seoul and nobody knows what he looks like, where he stays or whom he meets. Catching him becomes a personal obsession of Jo Won-ho, an experienced cop who tends to live on the edge. Striving to close the case, Won-ho risks an alliance with Rack, a criminal who once worked for Mr. Lee. When his mother dies and his dog gets injured in an explosion organized by his employer, the boy has nothing more to lose. Won-ho and Rak will plan a complex, precise operation, hoping to reach the chief playmaker. The policeman will have to assume the identity of his opponents and immerse in the world of violence, drugs and huge money. This reality, which he was not fully aware of, is peopled by colourful but psychopathic and deadly dangerous scumbag figures.
“Believer” is a decent remake of the excellent “Drug War” by Johnny To but thanks to different points of emphasis and significant diversions from the original plot it has become quite a different story. Johnny To brought from his journey to China a dirty, rough-textured film. Lee Hae-young chose elegance and bright colours to shoot a fast-paced thriller vibrating with strong emotions. The fierce rhythm of the film is supported with remarkable soundtrack by Dalparan, whose music sounds also in other pearls of contemporary Korean cinema – for instance in Kim Jee-won’s “A bittersweet life” and Na Hong-jin’s “The Wailing".
A South Korean screenwriter and director, born in 1973. Lee debuted in 2006 with a comedy-drama "Like a Virgin", which he wrote and directed together with Lee Hae-jun. The picture about a transgender teenager received numerous awards in Korea. Lee’s next films are a comedy about the erotic life of a group of Seoul inhabitants – "Foxy Festival" (2010) and "The Silenced" (2015) – a stylish horror shown at the 10th Five Flavours.
2006 Cheonhajangsa Madonna / Like a Virgin
2010 Peseutibal / Foxy Festival
2015 Uciszone / Gyeongseong hakgyo: sarajin sonyeodeul / The Silenced
2018 Wyznawca / Dokjeon / Believer