Treeless Mountain DVD
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Directed by So Yong Kim
Produced in 2008
Main Language - Korean with English subtitles
Ha Min Woo, Hee-yeon Kim, Kim Mi Jung, Lee Byung Yong, Mi-hyang Kim, Song-hee Kim
Mike McCahill feels his heart strings being tugged in this wonderfully tender Korean drama about two young sisters awaiting their mother's return.
The subjects of Treeless Mountain, a beguiling part-fiction, part-documentary hybrid are two young Korean sisters, the bright-as-a-button Jin and her sleepier little sister Bin. When their mother lands work in another town, the girls find themselves deposited in the care of an aunt in the city. What we watch there is the process of acclimatisation the sisters face, and their sadness at being abandoned: the title refers to the mound of rubble the pair sit on at night, while awaiting mum’s return.
With its emphasis on how these girls learn, the result is something like an Asian equivalent of Samira Makhmalbaf’s The Apple. Writer-director So Yong Kim’s approach is gentler, certainly – observing the sisters’ inventive attempts to fill their own piggybank – but she’s equally alert to the cruelties lurking in this world: money can’t always, it seems, buy you happiness.
These two girls will break your heart: you begin Treeless Mountain wanting to cuddle them, and finish the film scrabbling to adopt them as your own.
Mike McCahill on 23rd March 2010
Author of 314 reviews
When their mother needs to leave in order to find their estranged father, seven-year-old Jin and her younger sister, Bin, are left to live with their Big Aunt for the summer. With only a small piggy bank and their mother’s promise to return when it is full, the two young girls are forced to acclimate to changes in their family life. Counting the days, and the coins, the two bright-eyed young girls eagerly anticipate their mother’s homecoming. But when the bank fills up, and with their mother still not back, Big Aunt decides that she can no longer tend to the children. Taken to live on their grandparent’s farm, it is here that Jin comes to learn the importance of family bonds in this beautiful, meditative, and thought-provoking second feature from So Yong Kim, the acclaimed director of In Between Days.
Publisher: Soda Pictures
Length: 89 mins
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 4th October 2010
Cat No: SODA091