Lee Chang-dong (Secret Sunshine, Poetry) is one of those filmmakers who is capable of translating our more profound internal processes into the language of imagery, allowing us to even see how violence develops. And that is in fact the subject of Burning, a quiet, gentle and intimate film that at the same time burns with emotional heat. The protagonist, Jong-soo (Ah-in Yoo), is forced to return to his native village, although his ambition is to become a writer. He meets a girl named Haemi (the elusive Jeon Jong-seo) who is infatuated with him and claims to know him from school. When she's away, Jong-soo takes care of her cat, which he never manages to see, though the food he puts out does disappear. Haemi returns from her long journey with Ben (Steven Yeun), a wealthy, self-confident man of the world, and now she's spending her time with him. Heartbroken and disappointed, Jong-soo always seems to be around the happy couple, at least until the day Haemi disappears. Jong-soo turns some fragile memories and a few uncertain signs-a well from childhood, a ray of sunlight illuminating her tiny apartment for a few moments, her invisible cat-into a story that makes him more and more certain that Ben is responsible for Haemi's disappearance. The film's open-ended structure provides clues that allow us to make up our own story: since Burning can be seen as a film about the inheritance of aggression, as well as a political metaphor.
Cannes IFF 2018 - FIPRESCI Prize, Vulcain Prize
Born in 1954, Lee Chang-dong is a film and theater director, screenwriter and author, as well as one of the pillars of South Korean independent cinema. In 2003-2004, he was the country's minister of culture and tourism. His films have premiered at the Cannes Festival, wherePoetry won the Ecumenical Jury award and the award for best screenplay, while Burning won a FIPRESCI critics award. In turn, Oasis (2002) cleaned up at Venice, winning a special prize for best director, a FIPRESCI award and a Marcello Mastroianni Award for actress So-Ri Moon. In his films, heavily embedded in South Korean life, the director puts individuals ahead of dramatic challenges.
1999 Miętowy cukierek / Bakha satang / Peppermint Candy
2001 Oaza / Oasiseu / Oasis
2007 Sekretne światło / Milyang / Secret Sunshine
2010 Poezja / Shi / Poetry
2018 Płomienie / Beoning / Burning