Archaeology of love
LEE Wanmin South Korea 162 mins PG13 (Some Coarse Language and Scenes of Intimacy) International Premiere
A powerfully restrained performance stands out in this study of a woman processing the complex emotions of grief in the aftermath of abuse.
Archaeologist Youngsil and Inseek go from strangers to lovers eight hours after they meet. Won over by hyperbolic declarations of love, Youngsil finds herself bound to Inseek even after their eventual breakup. As she attempts to recover the ground beneath her feet in her personal and professional life, the appearance of Udo spurs Youngsil’s tentative reach for a new love but also dredges up past traumas.
Crafted with compassion and minimal drama, the character-led narrative lays bare the quiet though no less brutal manifestations of gender violence behind closed doors. But what finds stronger resonance is a young woman’s ruminative journey in excavating her emotional depths in order to love again.
South Korean filmmaker LEE Wan-min’s previous works include the short films Chima (2006) and Mock or Die (2010). Her first feature Jamsil (2016) won the Citizen Critics’ Award at Busan. Archaeology of Love garnered a Special Mention of Jury and the Best Actor award for lead actress OK Ja-yeon at Jeonju International Film Festival.