- Director: Park Kun-Young
- Writer: Park Kun-Young
All is not as tranquil as it seems...
One-by-one, secrets and lies, internalised and implied homophobia...all start to rear their ugly heads.
This is a slow beauty....gently, and with gentility, peeling back the layers. Park Kun-Young does not spoon-feed, working out the relationships is difficult...but, if you read the synopsis, it will help...our advice is: Don't.
Let this unravelling unravel in its own time...every question will not be answered, a happy ending is never guaranteed...but, it is an incredible and understated watch...at how love and kindness can profoundly change lives, hearts and minds.
Much is left to the imagination. Family is complex, love is complex, relationships are complex...run with these complexities, internalise them and let your imagination run free. And, by filling in the gaps, you will get the full story...in your mind's eye.
What a beautiful, mostly peaceful and complex film this is. This is life.
Nothing really is as it appears from a distance. And so is Jinwoo’s quiet life - tucked away in the beauty of the Korean countryside far from the hectic, stressful city life, Jinwoo and Seol, his wonderful niece whom he loves as if she were his own, have been welcomed with open arms by a loving new “family” onto their sheep ranch. But when Park Kun-Young’s careful and precise direction begins to focus on the details of Jinwoo’s existence, slowly revealing his restless soul, we gradually discover the complexity of the reasons that led to Jinwoo’s extreme choice to retire in the countryside and live like a shepherd. The arrival of Jinwoo’s longtime male friend from university, Hyunmin, upsets all balance.
Moonkyeong, the ranch owner’s daughter who has a crush on Jinwoo, accidentally discovers the two men in bed and shortly afterwards Jinwoo’s twin sister, and Seol’s birth mother, shows up at the ranch after years of absence and silence and wants to take her daughter back to Seoul. The small, country community that at first seemed kind and nice slowly reveals their true colors and deep disapproval of the two men’s relationship. The fragile sandcastle of happiness that Jinwoo struggled to build is crumbling and the cold, harsh winter is upon him. A Distant Place is a beautiful, quiet film in both its gentle narrative and tranquil, pastoral setting.