Upcoming thriller critiques mental hospitalization laws

By KH디지털2
  • Published : Mar 16, 2016 - 14:47
  • Updated : Mar 16, 2016 - 17:07

Soon-to-be released thriller “Come to See Me” revolves around the true-life story of a woman wrongly put into a psychiatric facility.

Under current law in Korea, a person can be admitted to a mental institution with the consent of two caretakers and the diagnosis of a physician, said film director Lee Cheol-ha at a press conference in Jung-gu, Seoul.

“I wanted to highlight how there are so many instances of this law being abused,” said the director, whose diverse filmography includes music videos for K-pop singer BoA, “Hello! Orchestra” (2013), a documentary on the world of classical music, and romantic drama film “Love Me Not” (2006). 
Actress Kang Ye-won speaks during a press conference for “Come See Me” at Megabox Dongdaemun on Wednesday. (Yoon Byung-chan/The Korea Herald)

In 2015, local news media reported several cases of illegal confinement, including cases in which family members were forced into psychiatric hospitalization for financial gain or to end family feuds, the director explained.

Based on a true story, “Come to See Me” follows Kang Soo-ah, played by actress Kang Ye-won. She is kidnapped and admitted into a psychiatric ward against her will, but manages to escape after 106 days. A year later, TV producer Na Nam-soo is sent a diary that Kang wrote during her time in the ward. Intrigued by her story, Na seeks out Kang and looks into the tangled case.

“We interviewed subjects who had actually been kidnapped or confined to re-create the events,” said Lee.

Preparing for the role took a psychological toll, said Kang who plays the lead heroine.

“I didn’t know if I could return to being myself after playing this role,” she said. “And I was only acting. I can’t imagine how painful it must have been for people who actually went through the experience.”

“Come to See Me” will open in local theaters in April.

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)