Kim Min-hee’s (The Handmaiden) brilliance shines through in her masterful performance in Byun Young-joo’s third narrative feature. Based on the bestselling Japanese novel Kasha (All She Was Worth) by Miyuki Miyabe, Helpless is a psychological thriller about Seon-yeong’s (Kim) sudden disappearance and the devastating truth about her past, which slowly reveals itself during her fiancé’s (Lee Sun-kyun, Parasite) investigation. Seon-yeong, an ultimate embodiment of social, cultural, emotional, and moral violence and exploitation, was never given a fair shake. There is no room for redemption or hoping for better days in Seon-yeong’s life. As the title suggests, there is only endless agony.

DIRECTED/WRITTEN BY: Byun Young-joo. WITH: Kim Min-hee, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Sung-ha. 2012. 117 min. Korea. Color. Korean. DCP.

Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation. 

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