KIM JI-YOUNG, BORN 1982

82년생 김지영

Directed by Kim Do-young

Cast: Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-Mi

* This film available to view only from SAT 10/24 – WED 10/28.

Official Selection, 2019 Hong Kong Asian Film Festival

Is there a word for Kim Ji-Young’s malady? Her family–a doting husband, a caustic mother-in-law–focuses on her verbal outbursts, during which she lashes out against an aggressor that may or may not be there, while referring to a Kim Ji-Young in the third person. Some say she’s crazy. Some wonder if she might be possessed. But since we’re with her while others are working, we see another side, at once anxious and undeterred, private and curious about other dimensions of the self. Flashbacks peel back the years of growing alienation for a woman with a literature degree and a budding marketing career, now a stay-at-home mom with an itch to do more.

In a stunning directorial debut, Kim Do-Young adapts Cho Nam-Joo’s best-selling novel as an engrossing psychic mystery. As family and former co-workers intervene, the puzzle thickens, especially as a mesmerizing Jung Yu-Mi in the lead role fleshes out a rationale for Ji-Young’s behavior without forcing an explanation. Ji-Young defies words. But for Kim Do-Young’s’ film there can be many: courageous, revelatory, eloquent.

–Brian Hu

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