Passport Series 2018

Burning (Beoning)

Jong-su's (Yoo Ah-in) hardscrabble existence in suburban Korea is enlivened when he runs into a former classmate, Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo), who asks Jong-su to take care of her cat while she leaves for an extended trip. When Hae-mi returns from abroad, any romantic spark between the two becomes entangled with Hae-mi's new flame, the handsome, mysterious Ben, played by American actor Steven Yeun (a rising star fresh off his scene-stealing roles in Sorry to Bother You, Okja, though still best known for his regular turn on The Walking Dead). Quietly, and chillingly, Jong-su realizes that Ben's secrets are more sinister than they first appear. Adapted from the short story "Barn Burning" by Haruki Murakami, Lee Chang-dong's masterpiece expands this treatise of class conflict and masculine frustration into a triumphantly cinematic work that smoulders with lyrical beauty and fervent anger.

"Burning is a character study that morphs, with masterly patience, subtlety and nary a single wasted minute, into a teasing mystery and eventually a full-blown thriller." (Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times)

"Every new development seeds the one that comes after and changes your perspective on what went before, right up to a climax where those oscillating reversals take place across a single shocking moment, sending you out into the night with a gift: a story that is fully spent and wholly satisfying but eternally, burningly mysterious." (Jessica Kiang, Sight & Sound)