End of Winter
Director: Kim Dae-hwan
Cast: Moon Chang-gil, Lee Young-Ian, Kim Min-hyuk, Lee Sang-hee, Heo Je-won
99 mins, 2014
Cheorwon, South Korea, is the place of a thorny family drama. The location is particularly apt for a long weekend of domestic recriminations; it is where military manoeuvres provide background aural accompaniment – from jet planes sonic booming overhead to ordnance tests shattering the silence. Entertainment comes when verbal skirmishes interrupt the rare fragile respites. Passive aggressive loggerheads and denial are of the watch-through-your-fingers variety. The reunion centres around the retirement of the patriarch, Kim Sung-keun (Moon Chang-gil), who, over dinner, drops a narrative bombshell that sets the film on its course. No relief is given, as the Kims are trapped in a tiny apartment by heavy snowfall. Excruciatingly funny and awkward moments emanate from the three days and two nights we spend together.
By Hemanth Kissoon