The Land of Seonghye

성혜의 나라

The Land Of Seonghye
Film info

Director: Jung Hyung-suk
Cast: Song Ji-in, Kang Doo
Film genre: Drama
Cert 15, 117 mins, 2018
Distributed by Dat Factory

Shot in luminous black and white, this is a deeply affecting contemporary portrait of a society, a city and, above all, a woman, all struggling to cope with rapid economic change. Seonghye (Song Ji-in) is an educated young woman whose life appears inexplicably in freefall. Unfolding with a forensic eye for social detail, we gradually discover why Seonghye finds herself marginalised from the plastic yet comfortable corporate world she once inhabited. Physically and mentally exhausted, working two minimum wage jobs, everything is falling apart for Seonghye. Change does come but at considerable cost. When one character says “it’s all about money, money, money – the shit of money”, it’s hard to argue. And yet there is something even darker lurking in the heart of this tough, gorgeous and nuanced work which deservedly won the Grand Prize at this year’s Jeonju Festival’s Korean Competition strand. Riveting.