Ounie Lecomte – Yeo-haeng-ja AKA A Brand New Life (2009)

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Set in a South Korean orphanage circa 1975 and featuring a concentrated, thoroughly convincing perf by preteen Kim Sae-ron, “A Brand New Life” is an admirably un-manipulative drama about the impermanence of relationships and the resilience of kids in the face of it. Drawing on her own childhood experience as an orphan living with Catholic nuns in Seoul, first-time writer-director Ounie Lecomte has made a film that’s emotionally and aesthetically involving in almost every shot. Only an imperfect DV-to-35mm transfer minimizes the impact of a picture that remains intimately and movingly focused on a bereft 9-year-old girl’s p.o.v. Continue reading