TREELESS MOUNTAINSix-year-old Jin and her younger sister Bin live with their mother who is increasingly unable to cope with bringing them up on her own. One day, she packs up all their belongings, quits the small apartment in Seoul and takes her daughters to live in the countryside with their aunt. The mother leaves for America to look for the girls’ father, supposedly she will come back some day. The girls’ aunt is an alcoholic who basically leaves them to care for themselves. Jin and Bin catch grasshoppers which they barbeque and sell in a touching yet earnest attempt to find their way in a world that is ill-suited to the needs of children. Inspired by her own childhood So Yong Kim tells a story about the betrayal of children when deprived of the warmth and security of a family home. Entirely unsentimental, using images rather than words she succeeds in creating a world in which the audience witnesses a crime. No violence is involved – the children are just not wanted anymore. In a society swept by rampant industrialization the sun shines on meadows full of Pampass Grass that lie in between construction sites while Bin’s princess dress drips away on the clothesline. The audience experiences with rare intensity how childrens’ days of innocence can be ended by the lies of adults.
USA / Republic of Korea (South Korea) 2008, 89 min
So Yong Kim
Memento Films International
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