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Treeless Mountain
Treeless Mountain
Actors: Kim Mi-hyang, Kim Hee Yeon, Kim Song Hee, Lee Soo Ah, Boon Tak Park
Director: So Yong Kim
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2009     1hr 29min

Studio: Oscilloscope Pictures Release Date: 09/15/2009 Run time: 89 minutes


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Movie Details

Actors: Kim Mi-hyang, Kim Hee Yeon, Kim Song Hee, Lee Soo Ah, Boon Tak Park
Director: So Yong Kim
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Family Life
Studio: Oscilloscope Laboratories
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/15/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 29min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Korean
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

A delicate and delightful film about the fragility and resil
Nathan Andersen | Florida | 01/23/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A young girl, barely 7 years old, is left to fend for her little sister when their mother leaves them both in the hands of a distracted and insensitive aunt. Promised by their mother that if they were good their aunt would give them coins and that she would come back when their piggy bank was full, the children improvise ways to earn small change and fill up the bank, hoping to hasten their mother's return.

So Yong Kim's follow up to the wonderful and understated In Between Days is a revelation of a film. Shot in a style that captures simple nuances of childhood without artifice, the film is also a formal masterpiece. Every shot is framed with care and precision, captures subtleties of gesture and emotion that feel utterly authentic, or captures settings and light and other natural elements to give a haiku-like accent to the mood of surrounding scenes. To say that this film is shot documentary-style is technically true, but may give the false impression of a amateur home-movie style video or shaky cameras and this film is nothing like that. In its formal precision that captures the essence of the reality it depicts rather than the raw subject matter the film is closer to work by the Dardenne Brothers or to that of Robert Bresson, than to the more ad hoc and improvised "documentary-style" cinematography of the Office television series or of something like Cloverfield or even District 9.

A delicate and lovely film about the fragility and resilience of childhood. Highly recommended.
Treeless Mountain
S. Singer | MD USA | 10/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm surprised I don't find more discussions about this movie. Why, because it is one of the best family movies I've seen and it portrays one of the saddest issues - that is the effect of adoption, divorce, foster care - all the estrangements that can occur between children and guardians.
What makes this movie different are the brilliant actors and the classy filming and editing. Never mind the sub-titles the movie just visually tells a story, some of the best scenes come from the subtle smiles and natural movements that only a child could render.
Fortunately this DVD comes with extras, whether through deleted scenes or interviews with the two leads that add comedy and poignancy to the film.
Amazingly two actors age five and seven are able to deliver a striking performance."
Interesting mostly upbeat view of a Nobody Knows situation
Glenn E. Stambaugh | Carlisle, PA USA | 09/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Treeless Mountain was utterly charming, a far more upbeat take on a situation somewhat similar to Hirokazu Koreeda's tragic "Nobody Knows" ("Dare mo shiranai", 2004). A 30ish big-city single mom in dire financial straits drops off her seven and five-year-old daughters with the 50ish 'Big Aunt', her sister-in-law, a functioning alcoholic in a small town, who a few weeks later in turn dumps them on their 70ish maternal grandparents, who live on a rather primitive farm.

Mom has given the girls a piggy bank, and said she'd return by the time they've filled it, a white lie, of course, but the kids start collecting impaling and charbroiling grasshoppers (yum -- healthful animal protein) to sell to big aunt's neighbors at ten cents a pop. Then they discover that ten pennies take up more bank space than a dime, and engage in some currency conversion. Even though the piggy's now full, mom doesn't show up. Later, at the farm, the girls offer grandma the bank to buy herself new winter shoes.

It's not all sunshine. The girls have their quirks. Jin, the older daughter, has a bed-wetting problem, and frames little sister Bin, who gets revenge later. There are lots of little touches like that in all the characters, but it's all understated, and much is implied without being obvious. The overall impression is of a society that values its kids highly, and the extended family structure makes what might otherwise have been a tragic situation bearable and even light-hearted at times. On the commentary track, the director reveals she's dedicated the film to her own grandmother, the movie having been somewhat autobiographical."
Can't forget it
S. Johnson | San Diego, CA | 02/04/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This got a mini release at our theater here, I was the only one in the theater, so beautiful and sad. I went back to see it again the next night! It really sticks with you."