Expanded from Haruki Murakami’s short story “Barn Burning,” the sixth feature from celebrated Korean filmmaker Lee Chang-dong (Secret Sunshine; Poetry), begins by tracing a romantic triangle of sorts: Jongsu (Yoo Ah-in), an aspiring writer, becomes involved with a woman he knew from childhood, Haemi (Jun Jong-seo), who is about to embark on a trip to Africa.
“A movie that makes you reconsider all the other times you called movies haunting because this one gets under your skin in completely unexpected ways.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
She returns some weeks later with a fellow Korean, the Gatsby-esque Ben (Steven Yeun), who has a mysterious source of income and a very unusual hobby. When Haemi suddenly disappears, Jongsu’s confusion and obsessions begin to mount, culminating in a stunning finale. A tense, haunting multiple-character study, the film accumulates a series of unanswered questions and unspoken motivations to conjure a totalizing mood of uncertainty and quietly bends the contours of the thriller genre to brilliant effect. (Dir. by Lee Chang-dong, 2018, South Korea, in English/Korean with English subtitles, 148 mins., Not Rated)