Five Recent Korean Indie Films You Can Now Stream Online

The heightened interest in Korean media has happily led to more online viewing opportunities for independent Korean films—and that includes several award-winning indie films released between 2019 and 2021. The following films are all now currently streaming:

Black Light, 2021

Yeom Hye-ran, best known to audiences for her roles in the dramas When the Camellia Blooms and Uncanny Clounter, took home an acting prize at the Jeonju Film Festival for her role in this intriguing film. The story focuses on the aftermath of a car accident, which kills the driver and leaves the other man in a coma. At first the accident is blamed on the driver, but it may not be as simple as that. Yeom plays Young-nam the woman whose husband is in a coma, while Kim Si-Eun (The Handmaiden) plays Hee-joo, the woman whose husband died. When the two women wind up working at the same factory Hee-joo is tortured by guilt. Young-nam’s daughter, played by Park Ji-hu (House of Hummingbird) knows something about the accident that could change everything. Directed by Bae Jong-dae, Black Night, won awards at the Seoul International Film Festival and the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

A French Woman, 2020

In the award-winning film A French Woman, Kim Ho-jung plays Mira, a Korean expat in her 40s. Mira has lived in Paris for more than 20 years, but doesn’t feel like she belongs to France or Korea. Having divorced her French husband, she decides to return to Korea and catch up with old friends, played by Kim Young-min and Kim Ji-young. When she meets her friends for drinks and steps away for a minute, somehow time has reversed and it is 20 years ago, the day of her farewell party, before she sets off for France. Time becomes fluid and she drifts back and forth between her memories and the present. Kim can currently be seen playing an art director in the drama Reflection of You. The film also stars Kim Young-min, Ryu Abel and Kim Ji-young.

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Please Don’t Save Me, 2020

Twelve-year-old Seon-yu and her mother need a fresh start after her father kills himself, leaving behind a huge debt. They move to a new place and struggle to make a life for themselves. It’s not easy, but Seon-yu eventually begins to enjoy her new school thanks to a kind, attentive classmate. However, the past becomes impossible to escape when her grandmother appears at the school, claiming a share of her dead son’s insurance money. Seon-yu’s secret is out and she’s mortified. Her mother begins to lose hope and her will to live. Soon mother and daughter set off on a suspicious journey. The film stars Cho Seo-yeon, Choi Ro-woon, who appears in The King’s Affection, and Yang So-min, who appeared in Hush and Record of Youth.

Search Out, 2020

Director and screenwriter Kwak Jung explores the ways social media can be an instrument of crime in his mystery thriller Search Out. In the film an online celebrity known as Wishkeeper anonymously grants small wishes. One day, his neighbor Min-ji sends him a wish, knowing he is the Wishkeeper, but he ignores her. A few days later she is found dead. On her SNS is a message, “What does ‘life’ mean to you?” She’s not the only one who got that message and everyone else who did is also dead. The film also stars Kim Seong-cheol, Lee Si-eon and Heo Ga-yoon. Kim Seong-cheol appeared in the dramas Sweet Home and Do You Like Brahms. Lee Si-eon had roles in the dramas Cheat On Me If You Can and Abyss. Heo Ga-yoon appeared in the film Drug King. 

Height of the Wave, 2019 

Height of the Wave, directed by Park Jung-bum, was first aired as part of tvN’s 2019 Drama Stage television series. It premiered at the 20th Jeonju International Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize in the International Competition section of the 72nd Locarno Film Festival. The story follows police officer Yeon-su, played by Lee Seung-yeon, when she is dispatched to an island after her divorce. At her welcoming party, she witnesses the strange relationship between an orphan girl Ye-eun, and the island workers. The village people have taken care of her since she lost her parents at sea, but there is something odd about her relationship with the islanders. Yeon-su suspects her of prostitution and starts to investigate the case. This results in Ye-eun running away and hiding in the mountains. The film also stars Lee Yeon, Choi Eun-seo, Park Jung-bum, Park Yeong-deok and Shin Yeon-sik. 

Distributed by Echelon Studios, these films are all available on amazon.com.

The Tycoon Herald