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Hill of Freedom

Hong Sang-soo
Ja-yu-eui eon-deok
South Korea 2014 / 66’

The latest film by one of South Korea's most interesting directors-the so-called "master of comic anthropology"-juggles stereotypes confronting Japanese and Korean society in his characteristic bittersweet style. When Kwon returns home after a trip to the mountains, she finds a bundle of letters from her old Japanese friend, Mori, in which she learns that he has come to Seoul to confess his love for her. Not finding her at home, Mori decides to wait, finding accommodations in a modest guesthouse, where he makes some new friends. While containing the action to just a few blocks, Hong shows confused encounters between the desperate non-conformist Mori and Koreans. Seductive in its precision, the dramatic structure is hidden here under a layer of light insignificance and is further blurred by the lack of chronology and frequent gaps. As is typical of Hong's work, the characters discuss the meaning of life over a glass of soju, but getting to the heart of the matter is usually thwarted by broken English and an inability to hold one's liquor.

Agnieszka Szeffel

awards

Nantes Three Continents Festival 2014 – Golden Montgolfiere

Hong Sang-soo

One of South Korea's most original directors, Sang-soo Hong was born in Seoul in 1960. He studied at universities in Seoul, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Paris. He made his debut in 1996 with the film The Day a Pig Fell Into The Well, which was an award winner in Rotterdam. In 2010, Hahaha won the Un Certain Regard competition at the festival in Cannes. Making films based on his own screenplays, Hong has developed a recognizable style. The action in his films plays out in urban microcosms, usually showing the everyday lives of several characters interacting with one another.

Selected filmography

2004 Woman is the Future of Man / Yeojaneun namjaui miraeda

2005 A Tale of Cinema / Geuk jang jeon

2010 Hahaha

2010 Oki / Oki's Movie / Ok-hui-ui yeonghwa

2011 The Day He Arrives / Book chon bang hyang

2012 W innym kraju / In Another Country / Da-reun na-ra-e-suh

Related articles

Official site

Cast & Crew

director Hong Sang-soo
screenplay Hong Sang-soo
cinematography Hongyeol Park
editing Sungwon Hahm
music Yongjin Jeong
cast Ryo Kase, Sori Moon, Younghwa Seo, Euisung Kim
producer Kyounghee Kim
production Jeonwonsa Film Co.
sales Finecut
language Korean, English
colouration colour