Hill of Freedom
(Ja-yu-eui eon-deok)

Screening on Film
Directed by Hong Sangsoo.
With Ryo Kase, Moon So-ri, Seo Young-hwa.
South Korea, 2014, DCP, color, 66 min.
English, Korean and Japanese with English subtitles.
DCP source: Fine Cut

A dropped stack of shuffled love letters inspires Hong to retell a now comically defamiliarized tale of love and longing, offering a (chrono)logically shuffled version of a strained long-distance relationship between a young Japanese man and the Korean woman he believes himself to be in love with. Hong once again invents a playful narrative strategy to challenge habitual assumptions about character agency and resolution, focusing his story more on the in-between moments and after-effects than the action itself. Taking place in the historic Jong-ro district of Seoul that remains a favorite Hong location, Hill of Freedom effectively uses the narrow alley streets, petite cafes and traditional han-ok inns as micro-theaters for his signature long-take dialogue scenes while underscoring the film’s subtle commentary on cultural difference. Veteran actress Moon So-ri stands out as the comely innkeeper who gently destabilizes the young man’s determination and desire. 

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