Director: Ko Tae-Jeong
Cast: Jung Yu-mi, Ye Soo-jung, Heo Eun-kyoung, Sin Jin-hui, Paik Soo-jang
Cert 15, 106mins, 2009
Private tutor Eon-ju is living rent-free in a tiny box-room of a goshiwon complex (a unique type of dormitory-style single housing, often as small as two-by-two metres) where she works part-time at the weekends. The only visitors allowed in this cramped space are the camera and us; with her well-being constantly under threat by her living conditions, Eon-ju is desperate to break out.
Whilst going door-to-door in search of new students, Eon-ju comes across a large residence and notices its gate left wide open. Fueled by a strange curiosity and desire to escape the harshness of her reality, she steps inside. Will this be finally the place where Eon-ju can feel at home and protected?
A Room Nearby features a powerful lead-performance from frequent Hong Sang-soo collaborator Jung Yu-mi, who recently gained international attention through her starring role in the critically acclaimed Train to Busan (2016). Premiering at the prestigious 2008 Busan International Film Festival, Koh Tae-jong’s debut is a touching and absorbing look at the everyday struggles faced by young women in Korea.
Introduced by Annie Mullineux