Cast: Kim Ju-a, Lim Jong-min, Yoon Seo-young
Grand Prize, Korean Competition, 2021 Jeonju International Film Festival
In a rapaciously commodified present-day South Korea, where even nunchi (literally, measuring up others with your eyes) can be touted as a neoliberal success trait, 20-year-old Jeong-hee doesn’t so much flout social conventions as seem rather unimpressed by them. Not enrolled at a university like so many of her peers, while swaying between spurts of under- and unemployment, she decides to take a weekend trip to see her old high school roommate, the eponymous Kim Min-young, to rekindle old times. Will they have anything in common now that Min-young is busy with her life as a college student?
Co-directors Lee Jae-eun and Lim Ji-sun treat the interior lives of young women navigating a world that increasingly pits them against each other with genuine humor, honesty, and compassion. In Jeong-hee, we encounter someone who can observe the world around her, assess the difference between fantasy and fallacy, and is interested in actualizing her identity rather than just branding it. And perhaps our surprise at Jeong-hee’s relatively undisturbed self-esteem is not a critical mirror of her misguided investments, but our own.
—Anthony Yooshin Kim
Material pigments, mud pigments, and metallic foil animate the textures and temperaments of the every day and elsewhere.
Thursday, November 4, 2021