What is the nature of childhood resilience? Sisters Jin and Bin, ages 6 and 3, live with their mother. Jin likes school and does well. One day, their mother leaves the girls with their father’s sister, a woman they do not know. The mother seeks a reconciliation with their father. She leaves them a plastic piggy bank, promising to return when the bank is full. The girls scrub and clean for their aunt, a tippler who’s often cranky and complaining. She gives them a few coins for their work. They earn more money catching, grilling, and selling grasshoppers. They miss their mother. The bank fills. They watch for her from a mound of dirt. Will she return? Will stoic faces give way to a smile? —IMDb
Director and writer, So Yong Kim was born in Pusan, South Korea and immigrated to the US when she was twelve. She studied painting, performance, and video art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her MFA. She has made several experimental short films including A Bunny Rabbit, shot by renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle. Kim also produced Bradley Rust Gray’s award-winning Icelandic feature, SALT, in 2003. In 2006, Kim was featured as one of the “25 Filmmakers to Watch” in Filmmaker Magazine.
Kim’s first feature, In Between Days, was acclaimed by critics and won the Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival along with the International Critics’ Prize at Berlin. It was also awarded an LA Critics Prize and Best Film and Best Actress Prizes at Buenos Aires. Kino International and the Sundance Channel released the film in North America, and With Cinema released the film in Korea.
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Above: A highlight of the 2009 Berlinale, So Yong Kim's Treeless Mountain. Treeless Mountain (dir. So Yong Kim) - This premiered at Toronto