Baek-ya (2012) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • The plot appears to follow a man who returns to Korea for one night. HE has been away for an extended period of time. At a café, he meets up with a lover he left behind when he left Korea, and the lover reveals he is seeing someone different, and is still hurt by him having left . He claims that he, too, is seeing someone different - "a 35 year old in Germany". Equally wounded, tears begin to form in the eye of the main character, and he abruptly leaves the café without saying goodbye, when his past lover goes back in to make another order. Later in the evening, he is approached by a man in a red jacket. They quickly become acquainted and their communications escalate towards a sexual nature. He notices a scar on the back of the main character's shoulder. The main character becomes tentative and touchy, and decides suddenly he does not want to do anything sexual with the man in red, to the man in red's confusion. However, he still wants his company, and so after some small bickering, they head to a bar. Suddenly the main character recognizes a man in the bar, and chases after him, as they run through urban streets. The man in red follows, despite not understanding the situation. It is later revealed he main character was stabbed in a homophobic attack, and the man he chased after knows the man who stabbed him, and his current location - the pool hall. The main character states it is the reason he left Korea, as it shook his life up, and outed his sexuality publicly. They both head to the pool hall, despite the man in red's discouragement, and together they punch up the man who stabbed him a long time ago. Afterwards, despite shallow bickering between them, and not being comfortable being open about their emotions, it becomes clear they feel affection and compassion towards one another. They head to a park and discuss their pasts. This time, when asked, the main character states he is seeing "a 24 year old in Germany," which would seem to imply he has lied both times and therefore is actually single - too hurt to reveal his vulnerability and become close to anyone new. They have sex and before parting ways the man in red gives him his number. The film ends on a cliffhanger with the main character staring at a payphone from a taxi, thinking about calling him.

    Hans H


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • After living abroad for two years, flight attendant Won-gyu returns to Seoul on a one night layover seeking not just companionship, but revenge on the thugs who perpetrated a hate crime against him before he left the city. What begins as a simple sexual encounter with a young motorcycle courier evolves into a complex relationship, as the young men become lovers, friends, enemies, and strangers, all in the course of a single evening. Refusing both romanticism and neat closure, Director Lee opts for a subtle but frank approach and a minimalistic aesthetic, managing to say a lot with very few words.

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