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Hong Sang-soo's latest film gets premiere at Berlinale

Director Hong Sang-soo (from left) and actors Kim Min-hee and Seo Young-hwa attend a photo call to promote the movie
Director Hong Sang-soo (from left) and actors Kim Min-hee and Seo Young-hwa attend a photo call to promote the movie "The Woman Who Ran" during the 70th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany February 25, 2020. (Reuters-Yonhap)

Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo’s “The Woman Who Ran” got its world premiere at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival on Tuesday.

Three more screenings of the film are expected through Friday at the annual film festival, where it is competing for the Gold and Silver Bear prizes, the highest honors of the event. Hong’s film is competing against 17 other titles from 17 countries.

This is Hong’s fourth time in competition at the Berlinale, following “Night and Day,” “Nobody’s Daughter Haewon” and “On the Beach at Night Alone.” Since his debut film, “The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well,” at the Berlin film fest in 1997, Hong remains one of the film fest’s most distinguished Korean directors.

Kim Min-hee, Hong’s muse and partner in his much-publicized extramarital affair, once again stars in Hong’s latest film. Kim, whose first work with Hong was 2015 film “Right Now, Wrong Then,” has starred in seven of Hong’s films, winning a Silver Bear in 2017 for “On the Beach at Night Alone” at the 67th Berlinale.

Hong and Kim, who confirmed their relationship in 2018, are to make their first public appearance together since a local court rejected Hong’s divorce petition in June last year. 


“The Woman Who Ran” (Jeonwonsa Film)
“The Woman Who Ran” (Jeonwonsa Film)

“The Woman Who Ran” is a 77-minute drama about a married woman’s adventure while her husband is away on business. The main character, Gamhee, runs into an old acquaintance and reconnects with two old friends with whom she has become estranged since her marriage.

The cast also includes Seo Young-hwa, Song Seon-mi, Kim Sae-byuk and Kwon Hae-hyo.

The Berlinale describes the film as “paring down his (Hong’s) style -- heavy on long takes, dialogue and zooms -- to its essence,” and praises it as “a beguiling, mysterious gem that once more implies that an infinite number of worlds are possible.”

Following its international premiere at Berlin, “The Woman Who Ran” is expected to open in local theaters this spring.

While Hong’s new film is the only Korean film to compete in the awards section, a number of films from Korea were invited to the festival’s noncompetition sections.


Cast members of “Time to Hunt,” Park Jeong-min (from left), Ahn Jae-hong, Lee Je-hoon and Park Hae-soo, arrive at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday. (Little Big Pictures)
Cast members of “Time to Hunt,” Park Jeong-min (from left), Ahn Jae-hong, Lee Je-hoon and Park Hae-soo, arrive at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday. (Little Big Pictures)

On Saturday, thriller “Time to Hunt” had its world premiere in the Berlinale Special Gala section, which sheds light on creative and noteworthy films from different countries. The film’s director, Yoon Sung-hyun, and the full cast -- Choi Woo-shik, Lee Je-hoon, Park Jeong-min, Ahn Jae-hong and Park Hae-soo -- were present at the event.

Although not part of the fest’s main event, Korean artist Kim Ayoung is exhibiting her video installation “Porosity Valley 2: Tricksters’ Plot” at the Berlinale’s Expanded Forum, an open platform dedicated to film formats representing a broader range of disciplines, including visual arts, theater, music and the media.

The Berlinale, which kicked off Thursday, runs through the end of the week.



By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)
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