On April 5, veteran actress Yoon Jung Hee received the medal Officier dans L’ordre des Arts et Lettres (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in English) from French Culture and Communications Minister Frédéric Mitterrand. The Officier Dans L’ordre des Arts et Lettres is an award given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of the arts or literature.
Yoon Jung Hee starred in director Lee Chang Dong’s award-winning film Poetry as Mija, a woman in her sixties who develops an interest in poetry while struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. The film has won many awards and acclaims at various international film festivals. Poetry was Yoon’s comeback film in sixteen years; her last film was 1994’s Manmoobang. With Poetry, Yoon has won numerous best actress awards at award ceremonies like the 31st Blue Dragon Film Awards and the 4rth Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
Actress Yoon Jung Hee commented, “This award has given me confidence and strength to work harder.” Yoon’s husband, pianist Baek Kun Woo, has also won the Chevalier dans L’ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters), the French Order that is one step lower than Officer) in 2001. Together, they make the first Korean husband-wife couple to receive the French Order.