In Between Days

inbetweendaysSo the Harvard Film Archive is just tempting me this month.  On Sunday 2/22, the HFA is playing So Yong Kim’s In Between Days.  I saw this movie two years ago at the IFFB and it was one of my favorite films of the year.  It’s about a 16 year old South Korean girl who’s immigrated with her mom to some unnamed North American city.  I think it’s Toronto…but there’s definitely a lot of snow on the ground.

There’s not really a lot of story here, but you get a portrait of this girl who is struggling to fit into her new life, in a new country, in a new culture.  As the title suggests, it’s both focused on the difficulty of transition as well as the beauty and poetry of those moments in which nothing special is happening.  But, like life, those in between moments, between big dramatic events, define the bulk of our day to day existence and have a cumulative weight.  Those days when nothing big or especially dramatic happen are, in the end, where we do most of our living.

I love this  movie for how closely and beautifully it pays attention to that.  Stylistically it’s sort of a modern neo realist film.  A lot of subtle handheld camera work, often with the camera sort of hanging back from the action just observing, and a very patient approach to building scenes and story.

Though, for those who dislike lots of handheld close ups, this one might not be your favorite.  But, I know I’ll be there.

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