03. The Night of Full Moon ( Siboya ) Im Kwon-taek, 1969
On a night with a full moon right after the Kingdom of Joseon was founded, Kim Jin-guk, on his way to be inaugurated into a government post by the first king of the dynasty, is murdered by Park Man-do, a provincial mayor. Kim Jin-guk’s wife runs away from the murder scene, with their newborn son in her arms, but she is soon caught up by the pursuers. In the end, she hides her son near the doorsteps of an aristocratic house and meets her death. The wife of Park Man-do, who had just given birth to her fourth daughter and grieving her lack of a son, finds the abandoned baby boy and swaps him for her newborn daughter. The father of Kim Jin-guk later discovers Park Man-do’s daughter—who was swapped with his grandson—in front of a shrine and raises her as his own. Twenty years later, the son of Kim Jin-guk has been growing up as Geomok, the son of Park Man-do with an outstanding martial arts skills. Maehwa, who has been raised by her step-grandfather—the father of Kim Jin-guk—vows to keep his last words, which was to take revenge on Park Man-do.
▶ This work is one of the first directed by Im Gwon-taek, who debuted earlier in 1962 with the film FAREWELL DUMAN RIVER. For ten years after he debuted, Im Gwon-taek grew into the master he is today by working on films of almost all genres including melodrama, musical, action, martial arts, thriller, and comedy. This work from the early years of his filmography is a melodrama and martial arts that tells the tragic fate of a woman who needs to hide everything about herself, including her gender, to avenge her family.