Nobody's Daughter Haewon
(Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Hae-won)

Screening on Film
Directed by Hong Sangsoo.
With Jung Eun-chae, Lee Sun-kyun, Yu Jun-sang.
South Korea, 2013, 35mm, color, 90 min.
English and Korean with English subtitles.
Print source: Fine Cut

Lesser known among Hong’s recent work, Nobody’s Daughter Haewon is a ruminative portrait of a young woman and aspiring actress standing at the crossroad drawn by the recent collapse of a failed relationship and by her mother’s sudden emigration to Canada. The film’s loose structure follows the melancholy Haewon as she destructively reconnects with her ex-flame and ex-film professor and begins to rethink her life. Taking full advantage of recurrent scenes of the headstrong, overwhelmed Haewon writing in her diary only to fall suddenly asleep, Hong skillfully melds together dream and memory into a composite image, both real and imagined, of a young woman marked somehow as different by her beauty and enviable style and perhaps—as she seems convinced—by her fate. One of two major films directed in 2013, Nobody’s Daughter Haewon marked an important shift in Hong’s cinema away from the stumbling soju-fueled ajashi (the Korean term for middle-age men) antiheroes of his earlier work and towards a new kind of heroine, a woman determined to achieve moral clarity and understand the true consequences of her decisions.

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The Moral Tales of Hong Sangsoo

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