Berlinale 2020: Hong Sang-soo's Options for Womanhood

  • MUBI
Berlinale 2020: Hong Sang-soo's Options for Womanhood
The Woman Who Ran, the title of Hong Sang-soo’s new picture, refers to a woman who disappeared from her family, especially leaving her daughter distraught. This mother is never referred to again, but its possibility—that of a woman leaving her life behind—gently haunts the entire picture. This is because this title could also refer to the film’s ostensible heroine, Gamhee (Kim Min-hee): In three separate episodes, she visits or meets female friends and claims to be away from her husband for the first time in five years. “He says that people in love should always stick together,” she says to each woman, in a repetition familiar to the work of this South Korean relationship surrealist. Stepping out of her marriage into the bubbles of other lives, she casually surveys the realm of a divorcee, a single thirty-something, and the woman who married Gamhee’s high school boyfriend.
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