South Korea / 2018 / Korean with Spanish and English subtitles / 148
Gwang-Hee Ok, Chang-dong Lee
Jungmi Oh, Chang-dong Lee
Ah-in Yoo, Steven Yeun, Jong-seo Jun
Korean director Lee Chang-Dong masterfully takes on the not-so-easy task of adapting a 13-page story by Haruki Murakami (“Barn Burning,” from the book The Elephant Vanishes) to turn it into a feature film. The result is provocation turned thriller. A young aspiring writer, the world of Jongsu completely changes when he falls in love with Haemi. Jongsu is an introvert, with set habits, traumatized by a father with serious mental problems. Haemi is an independent girl whose free and naïve spirit captivates any man that surrounds her, including Ben: a rich young man she meets on a trip to Africa. Unable to separate truth from reality in the Haemi’s stories, Jongsu can tell that there is something strange behind the sudden and absorbing friendship with Ben, who also happens to have the “hobby” of burning down barns. The film then turns thriller and takes us through the closed environments of Seoul and the open spaces of its province. Everything is intuition, nothing can be proven. As subtle as it is constant, tension keeps us wrapped up in the final touches of Lee Chang-Dong’s work, a far reach from Murakami's story. With an existentialist undertone, this film is about passion and how the need to feel alive can drag us to our demise.
CONTACT & PRESS KIT
Lee is a former high-school teacher and an acclaimed novelist. His debut film Green Fish (1997) brought immediate success and critical acclaim. Another films: Peppermint Candy (2000) and Oasis (2002) Special Director's Award at the Venice Film Festival. Lee worked as the Minister of Culture in South Korea.