Almost 40 years old, writer Bo-Young is going through a personal crisis. Writer’s block is threatening her career, she’s divorced, and her ex-husband marries another woman. Her daughter also has to contend with her mother’s bouts of depression. When Bo-Young heads off to the provinces to moderate a weekend workshop she ends up sharing a hotel room with a woman who has experienced similar problems. During a night filled with alcohol and cigarettes, the woman makes Bo-Young confront her own suppressed and unspoken needs, triggering changes in her life. With astounding incisiveness the film portrays a woman who could be experiencing her prime but is instead staggering through a mid-life crisis. In precise dialogues first-time director Lee Suk-Gyung manages to reveal the inner turmoil of her protagonist almost as if in passing. The story eventually develops its full force in a sequence which takes up half of the narrative time and is set in one room, the hotel room. Through the character of its protagonist The Day After is a pitiless reflection on social masks, constraints and taboos prevalent in Korean society today.
by Lee Suk-Gyung
with Kim Bo-Young, Chi Cheong-Nam
South Korea 2009