Height of the Wave
Director: Park Jung-bum
Cast: Lee Seung-yeon, Lee Yeon, Choi Eun-seo, Park Jung-bum
Film genre: Drama
Cert 15, 89 mins, 2019
Distributed by M-Line Distribution
Park Jung-bum (The Journals of Musan and Alive), one time Assistant Director for Lee Chang-dong, returns to the festival fresh from winning the Special Jury prize at Locarno for this complex, multifaceted, emotionally astute thriller about greed and corruption in a small town. Eschewing typical genre trappings, and all the more powerful for it, this slow burning character study creeps up behind its audience and takes us deep into the rotting hearts of its troubled characters. When police chief Yeon-su (Lee Seung-yeon) is dispatched to a remote fishing village, she takes it as an opportunity to rebuild her relationship with her teenage daughter and recover from a bruising divorce. But pretty soon her daughter is out of control, while the tight knit community reveals itself to be hiding a terrible secret it can barely even acknowledge. Chief Yeon-su quickly finds herself isolated, out of her depth and under siege as she desperately tries to do the right thing. Riveting.