A compelling story of romantic jealousy, filled with unsettling suspense, from Lee Chang-dong.
South Korea 2018
Dir Lee Chang-dong
With Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun, Jeon Jong-seo
A Thunderbird release
Inspired by a story by Haruki Murakami, Lee Chang-dong’s latest is a marvel of ambiguity and insight.
After deliveryman Jong-su is seduced by Hae-mi, whom he barely recalls from school, he assumes they’re together, but when she returns from a trip abroad in the company of wealthy sophisticate Ben, Jong-su starts wondering what, exactly, is going on. Then the unexpected happens... With a measured but utterly engrossing narrative rich in teasing uncertainties and possible lies, Burning succeeds both as unsettling suspense and as a study of Jong-su’s increasing confusion, fuelled by a blend of sexual jealousy, class envy and (perhaps) an overactive imagination. A film of immense subtlety and resonance, brilliantly executed throughout.
Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-large