Back to top

The Handmaiden

Min-hie Kim, Kim Tae-ri, Jung-woo Ha, Cho Jin-woong, Hae-sook Kim, So-ri Moon
Marquis de Sade | opium fluid extract
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

Heiress Hideko tells new maid Nam Sook-ee, referring to a cherry tree, "My aunty went mad and hanged herself there." (0:06)

A man stutters.
Conman “Count” Fujiwara tells the others, referring to Hideko, ”After marrying her there and inheriting her fortune, I’ll declare her insane and lock her up in a madhouse.”
Bok-soon: ”She must be crazy.”
”Crazy?” (0:10)

Sook-ee thinks: ”Crazy?” (0:13)

Sook-ee, referring to Hideko’s aunt: "Did the big house make her go mad?" (0:20)

Sook-ee, referring to jewelry and Hideko, "That’ll be mine when she goes to the madhouse." (0:27)

Count Fujiwara, referring to Lady Izumi Hideko, "Mesmerizing." (0:28)

Count Fujiwara tells Sook-ee, "If you stutter like that, and make your face go red, those uppity bitches will feel superior, and then they’ll open up to you..." (0:28)

Sook-ee: "When I was a baby at a big house she was hanged -- I mean she hanged... "
Hideko: ”Hanged herself, like my aunt?”
My mother died giving birth to me, so it’s as if I strangled her myself.” (0:35)

Sook-ee: "I fear Hideko might truly go mad." (0:57)

Sook-ee tells Fujiwara, "Hurry up and throw her into the madhouse." (0:58)

A doctor asks Hideko, "Then what kind of treatment do you believe your lady requires?"(0:59)

Arrival at asylum.
Fujiwara, referring to Sook-ee: ”She still believes she’s a Korean handmaiden.”
Hideko tells the doctor, referring to a picture: ”My poor lady, she’s gone nutty. If it’s any help, this is from her mammy, and she used to cherish it before going mad.” (1:00)

Young Hideko: "I was going a bit crazy, so I made them crazy, too. When Mrs. Sasaki looked as crazy as me, life was more bearable." (1:08)

Uncle Kouzuki tells young Hideko, "I know you are a bit insane... If I fail, there’s a place called a ‘mental hospital’ in Japan. Established by the rational Germans, it’s very effective in treating lunacy. They dig holes in the dirt, put a patient in each one and put lids on top. If patients improve, they get a leash, so they can crawl around like dogs." (1:08)

A group of people watch Hideko’s aunt’s body hanging by the neck from the cherry tree. (1:11)

Kouzuki asks Fujiwara, referring to Hideko, “If you pity her so, why not take her place and let her whip you?”
Hideko reads to a group of men: ”The duchess raised the whip high in the air, and then...”
Hideko whips Fujiwara.
”The Duke slowly tightened the rope”
”I haven’t yet fully savored his pain... In the midst of his pain, this suffocating pain.”

Uncle Kouzuki: "Is it Sade?"
Man: ”It’s Sade-esque.” (1:13)

Fujiwara tells hideko, “You are mesmerizing
Hideko: “Men use the word ‘mesmerizing’ when they wish to touch a lady’s breasts.” (1:25)

Fujiwara asks Hideko, "If you kill yourself, what of your fortune?... Your fortune going to a pervert?"
Fujiwara shows her a vial: ”Highly concentrated opium. Three drops will make you sleep all day.”
Hideko, referring to a maid, ”We’ll send her to a madhouse under my name.” (1:28)

Fujiwara tells maid Junko, "You are just mesmerizing." (1:31)

Hideko reads the letter from Fujiwara, referring to Sook-ee: "Don’t worry if she reads this letter." (1:33)

Hideko prepares to hang herself from the cherry tree. Holding Hideko, Sook-ee tells her, "I was going to put you in a madhouse and run off."
Hideko: ”Sook-hee, are you worried about me? I’m worried about you.”
”You’re the one bound for the madhouse.” (1:46)

Patient eating in an asylum. (1:55)

Hideko pours the opium into a drink. (1:58)

Kouziki tells Fujiwara, "But don't worry, I'll catch them for you soon."
Fujiwara: ”A cigarette might help my memory.” (2:07)