GFF Review: Hommage

mother and son

While there have been great steps forward over the last couple of decades, the film industry is still a male-dominated world. The level of access afforded to women fluctuates between different countries, with the more progressive at least seeming to have a level playing field. On the face of it, anyway. Access and support are two very different beasts. Hommage tackles past and present inequalities in a very imaginative way.

Ji-wan (Lee Jung-eun) is a struggling director whose last film hardly filled cinemas. She’s becoming increasingly disillusioned with the film industry and considering her future when she’s offered the opportunity to restore a film from one of the first female directors in South Korea. What starts out as a frustrating quest to piece together the missing dialogue and film on a tiny budget soon turns into an obsession. Taking over her life.

Hommage is a quiet movie. One which gradually grows, ripens and flourishes as Ji-wan’s journey nears its conclusion. While the restoration is the film is the driving force, it’s the personal journey she undertakes which slowly takes over. Su-won Shin’s film is a love letter to cinema and a reminder that female filmmakers need to be supported in the same way their male counterparts are. Hommage is a contemplative, dryly humorous and assured drama about a woman struggling to find herself.

Hommage screens at Glasgow Film Festival.

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