K-Movie Review: “Kim Ji Young, Born 1982” Expressively Demonstrates Feminism And Women Empowerment  

By  | 

Highlighting the struggles of all women; Kim Ji Young, Born 1982 inspires women to push through the limits and be brave.

Adapted from the international best-selling literary fiction novel by author Cho Nam Joo; Kim Ji Young, Born 1982 bravely sheds light to the constraints and obstacles fought by women.

Kim Ji Young

Featuring star-studded ensemble cast, Jung Yumi and Gong Yoo notched their third time together on the big screen. Kim Ji Young, Born 1982 pledges emotional outburst and self-reflection upon first watch.

Quick Plot Roundup

Kim Ji Young, Born 1982 traverses the story of Kim Ji Young (Jung Yumi), a woman born at the end of twentieth century. She juggles tasks of taking care of her child and husband plus the household chores. Also, the oppression she receives from her mother-in-law and her own family (except for her mother) causes her mental health to slowly deteriorate.

Unable to speak to someone else, she succumbs to post-partum depression. The uncompromising struggles she faces on a daily basis triggered the gap on her mental health. Fortunately, she has a very understanding and caring husband, who helped and stayed with her.

South Korea’s critically acclaimed film and box office hit Kim Ji Young, Born 1982 is definitely a defiant movie everyone should not miss out. It points out critical and sensitive societal issues overlooked or neglected by people of a strongly civilized general public.

The archaic norms accustomed by the elders (mostly shown in the film) and other people, yield a depraved regard for the heroine of the story. The beliefs are deeply rooted from the standards established a long time ago. Hence, that contradicts to the modern era. The film paraded the disheartening treatment owing to old derogatory mindset.

Kim Ji Young

The intent of the writer in addressing grave issues such as sexism, misogyny and mental health was successfully given emphasis. Here are several scenarios from the film that magnifies these issues.


One scenario that shows sexism is when Chief Kim (Park Seong Yeon) chooses men for the Planning Team despite having women employees who are as competent with the male employees. She reasons out that it would be hard for women to take on the role because of marriage and childbirth.

But Kim Ji Young retorted that she could do the job well even being married and having a child. That’s my future spirit! Way to go Kim Ji Young!


Another issue that arises is the endemic misogyny. It is when the security guard installed a hidden camera in women’s bathroom. The manager – despite having knowledge about the dreadful situation, remains silent and shares the photos with other male employees in the company. By which evidently made those women the center of sexual objectification.

Additionally, Kim Ji Young’s own father and aunt favors her brother Ji Seok (Kim Seung Cheol). Thus, unequally treating her and her eldest sister Eun Young (Gong Min Jung), which strongly demonstrates gender discrimination.

Chronicles the life of a woman

All women go through different phases: being a young girl, a lady, a career woman and a mother. Kim Ji Young, Born 1982 struck different chords that can reach to women of different age groups. It presents sheer difficulties which are harder to improve in the modern society.

Truthfully, women are often blamed for being preyed by sexual predators. An example is a scene with Ji Young’s father blaming her for being preyed upon by a male student.

Despite that harsh reality, like men, women are equally strong. Living this complicated world is difficult. And so is being a man and being a woman.

Pragmatic and Outspoken Plot

Film patrons admire the movie for its unembellished and stark narrative that distills existing societal vices.

The mental problem of Kim Ji Young imposes a clear-cut awareness that mental health should not be an object of ridicule and be disregarded. It is a serious illness like physical suffering, that should not be treated lightly. It is an alarming matter that needs attention.

Kim Ji Young

Mostly, the scenes are factual and real occurrences we often see in today’s society. Having that realistic aspect, film viewers can easily appreciate and empathize with Kim Ji Young even more.


Kim Ji Young, Born 1982 is a movie not just for women. It serves as an eye-opening story to everyone. It is an extremely relatable film that lets the viewers deeply reflect.

The film does not want to submit an answer to a deep-seated problem. Instead, its goal is to raise awareness. So that women like Kim Ji Young, will come forth with her support system in battling her own war.

After watching the film, it makes you appreciate  mothers and fellow women for braving small and big storms. Eventually, it makes your earn a deeper sense of respect for yourself.

Upon seeing the struggles of Kim Ji Young, it awakens and made my soul feel spirited. It is an enlightening portrayal of all the women out there. It clearly says a woman is not just a woman but a woman of her own.

Kim Ji Young

Images and Video Credits: Lotte Entertainment