LFF Review: Jeong-sun

Growing up is never easy at the best of times but doing so in an era of smartphones, social media and unlimited data contracts must be an absolute nightmare. Our social interactions suddenly become very public. Any mistakes or rash spur of the moment decisions can easily be captured and shared. Especially if someone has a problem with you. And once the genie is out, it’s not always possible to put it back in the box. It’s not just a problem for the young though, as Jeong-Sun find out.

Jeong-sun (Kim Kum-soon) is just an ordinary middle-aged factory worker. She doesn’t like her job or her supercilious younger boss and she would very much like to find someone to spend her free time with. Her daughter is trying to improve herself and despairs that her mother is happy to accept her lot in life. When Jeong-sun goes on a hike with a group from work she meets and falls for a colleague. Despite a few reservations, all seems well until she allows him to film her.

Jeong-sun is a drama which plays out slowly until the fateful day when the titular victim’s life crashes down around her. Writer/Director Jeong Ji-hye’s film revels in the quotidian. It’s this decision to portray the ordinary which really works in its favour. Allowing events to unfold at their own pace without needing to push them along. Jeong-sun highlights a number of current social issues within South Korea, using a real case as a catalyst to interrogate a misogynistic society.

Jeong-sun screens at London Film Festival.

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