Jobless, single and in her early thirties, Hee-soo is miserable. Desperate, she sets out to find her ex-boyfriend, Byoung-woon, who owes her $3,500. Rather inconveniently, it turns out that... See full summary »
Hong-yun is a high school girl in little mountain village when she falls head-over-heels for a handsome new school teacher, Mr. Jang. What with taking care of her youngest baby brother for ... See full summary »
Because of middle schooler Cheon-ji's unexpected suicide, her mother Hyun-sook and older sister Man-ji are driven out of their home and move to another apartment. By chance, Man-ji hears a ... See full summary »
Seven-year-old Sang-woo is left with his grandmother in a remote village while his mother looks for work. Born and raised in the city, Sang-woo quickly comes into conflict with his ... See full summary »
In the port city of Icheon, five female friends struggle to stay close while forging a life for themselves after high school. When one of the group, upwardly-mobile Hae-ju, moves to Seoul, ... See full summary »
Kyu-sik is a seminary student, who one day falls during a church service, dropping a precious, pope-blessed relic. As punishment, he and his comic relief friend Seon-dal are sent away to a ... See full summary »
Bilike has never seen a ping-pong ball before. He and his family live without electricity and running water in a solitary tent home among the vast steppe grasslands. The magnificent ... See full summary »
What is the nature of childhood resilience? Sisters Jin and Bin, ages 6 and 3, live with their mother. Jin likes school and does well. One day, their mother leaves the girls with their father's sister, a woman they do not know. The mother seeks a reconciliation with their father. She leaves them a plastic piggy bank, promising to return when the bank is full. The girls scrub and clean for their aunt, a tippler who's often cranky and complaining. She gives them a few coins for their work. They earn more money catching, grilling, and selling grasshoppers. They miss their mother. The bank fills. They watch for her from a mound of dirt. Will she return? Will stoic faces give way to a smile? Written by
Perhaps the first duty of a parent is to make their children believe that their lives are blessed, until they're old enough to deal with the fact that they are not. 'Treeless Mountain' may be slight, but it's pregnant with the horror implicit in its story of two young children abandoned by their mother. Director So Yong-Kim gets some beautiful performances from his very young cast (especially Hee-yeon Kim, who plays the older girl), there's a touch of eastern exoticism for the western audience (grasshoppers for dinner, anyone?), a treatment of poverty both sensitive and realistic, and in the end, a gleam of hope through the pain.
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