[Review] Saimdang, Light’s Diary – 사임당, 빛의 일기

GIVING IT A FEMININE TOUCH

Seo Ji Yoon (Lee Young Ae) is a Korean art history lecturer at Hankuk University about to finish up her PhD, advised by the university’s renowned professor, Min Jung Hak (Choi Jong Hwan).  Her path to obtaining tenure is ruined when she publicly expresses doubt about recently discovered painting, Geumgangsando, and its authenticity.  Outraged, he moves to sabotage her reputation and career.

While in Italy, she happens to stumble on an old diary written by a Joseon aristocrat, Lee Gyum (Song Seung Hun), which leads her to a portrait of Shin Saimdang (also played by Lee Young Ae).  Feeling an immediate connection to the historical figure, Ji Yoon decides to use the diary, which mentions the Geumgangsando, and the portrait to clear her name and tarnished reputation.  Through her journey, she rediscovers the extraordinary life of Shin Saimdang, an artist, writer, calligrapher, poet and mother to an influential Joseon scholar dubbing her the moniker, Wise Mother.

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