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Treeless Mountain
Added to my films
Evoked by early childhood memories, the story of a precocious journey to maturity comes into focus with exquisite simplicity in So Yong Kim's gentle masterpiece. An observational portrait of a young girl coming to terms with loss and abandonment is made of the same substance as cinema-vérité, but it is woven in a dreamlike quality, making it seem like a horrific fairy tale that is at the same time painfully realistic. Six-year-old Jin and her younger sister Bin live on the edge of disaster, but they are not aware of it. In the small apartment where they reside with their single mother, the menacing sounds of the outer world, disturb their precarious cocoon. One day their mother packs all their belongings. For Jin, the days of going to school are over. Mommy is gone, leaving her and Bin in a hostile home with their alcoholic Big Aunt (Mi Hyang Kim) and a piggy bank to slowly fill with tinkling coins and shining hopes. Once the bank is full, their mother will be back. Kim So Yong (40) was born in Pusan, South Korea, and grew up in Los Angeles. She studied painting, performance, and video art, earning her M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her feature "In Between Days", inspired by her experience of growing up in Los Angeles, won the FIPRESCI Prize in Berli, as well as Best Film in Buenos Aires and the Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. "Treeless Mountain" was awarded the CICAE Prize in Berlin.
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