Art imitates life in this quietly devastating masterpiece from Hong Sang-soo. Kim Minhee (The Handmaiden) — in the role that won her the Silver Bear for best actress in Berlin — plays Younghee, an actress reeling in the aftermath of an affair with a married film director. Younghee visits Hamburg then returns to Korea, but as she meets with friends and has her fair share to drink, increasingly startling confessions emerge. No stranger to mining his own experience for his films, Hong, whose real-life affair with Kim stirred up a media frenzy in Korea, here confronts his personal life with a newfound emotional directness.
"Knowing the real-life inspiration for On the Beach at Night Alone may help one appreciate the film’s moral trajectory a bit better. But the movie’s charms work on a much more immediate level, in the way it captures the ever-shifting dynamic between men and women, and the difficulty of matching one’s feelings to one’s words." (Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice)