Directed by Chan-wook Park
145 min | 2016 | South Korea
Presented in Korean and Japanese with English subtitles.
Cast: Min-hee Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Jin-Woong Cho
– Selected by the 2019 Damn These Heels Guest Programmer, Jordan Blok –
Most lesbian revenge thrillers fall into tell-tale common traps when written by men—objectification, trivialization, unnecessary graphic abuse, the famous “kill your gays’ trope—and though Park Chan-Wook’s take is not perfect, it is one of the best, most powerful renditions on the theme I’ve seen. In the film, Sook-Hee (played by Tae-Ri Kim) comes into the employ of Lady Hikeo (played by Min-Hee Kim) in what starts as a ploy to get her valuables, but turns into much more, and gradually turns builds into a tangled web of a thriller that is artfully spun. What makes this film shine is its ability to depict lesbian sex without making it overly sexualized; assault and abuse against women without making it graphic; and queer love with nuance, agency and heart. Despite the dire need for more queer directors depicting queer stories, Park-Chan Wook’s film is a striking example of a cishet director getting it right.
– Jordan Blok, Guest Programmer
Winner: Best Film Not in the English Language–2018 BAFTA