[BIFF WORLD] House of Hummingbird
House of Hummingbird
KIM Bora | Korea | 2018 | 139min | New Currents
OCT 09 L3 10:00 OCT 10 L10 15:30 OCT 12 L3 19:00
With its heart on its sleeve, House of Hummingbird presents with tender loving care, the dramas — small and big — of a 1990s Seoul teenager’s formative experiences. A less polished, more solitary, second cousin to slick Korean mainstream hit, Sunny (2011), this indie film never puts a foot wrong as it captures the minutiae of the life of schoolgirl Eunhee (Park Ji-hu). Though it ticks all the boxes from boy crushes, to girl-crushes, family arguments and that one teacher that really makes a difference (played with subtle charm by Kim Sae-byuk), the film always feels like the real deal on an unhappy adolescence. Positioning Eunhee’s story in a wider world, House of Hummingbird also successfully works in major Korean news stories of the period, one of which has a major impact on the schoolgirl’s life. All the cast are excellent, but lead actress Park is superbly understated and always feels worthy of the sympathy that the film insists her character receives. Carefully art directed, the film puts paid to the idea that the old Korea has gone. Location scout clearly did their homework and as a consequence the film will act as a memory jogger for those who are keento recall the way Seoul appeared in the predigital age.