Bleak Night (2010)

Genre: Drama

Bleak Night (Pasookkoon) is what you might call an indie film that started out as graduation project, made by young director Sung-Hyun Yoon and young actor crew, that gained many praising critic reviews and awards in local movie scene.

Big thanks to reader who goes by nickname poolfish1 for bringing this one to my attention!

As the movie starts, we follow a disheartened father (Seong-ha Jo), who is now alone in his family. His wife, mother of his son has died long time ago, and his son recently committed suicide. Looking for answers and trying to understand reasons of his sons demise, he seeks for classmates and friends of his son.

The premise of this movie really simple. After the questions are being asked, the focus of movie entirely shifts to the boys, son and his friends. The narrative of the movie follows two paths, one of present time, and one of reminiscing past, where complicated relationships of these highschool boys are show, and these paths intersect each other in artistically seamless way.

 As Aristotel had said once:
What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.
Important theme in the movie is said friendship. How our actions form grudges and they in their turn form cracks in foundation of this trust of most importance that's given to people close to us. And how this abusing this trust may lead to bleaker consequences. It also provides insight into what may lead a person to suicide.

The cinematography of this film is gorgeous, I absolutely adore the visual style used in it. The sound is perfect. The actors, a performances of highest levels, not a single miscast. I hope they along with director of the film will have bright future in cinema world.

A slow paced, even meditative film, full of sadness and regrets. Some may find it uneventful and boring, some will love it. In my eyes, it's a masterpiece. Highly recommended (but not for everyone).

DVD from Amazon


  1. OMG You watched it! :D Isn't it absolutely heartbreaking and amazing? Thanks for checking it out! Here's my short review on my tumblr, if you dont mind reading it :)( I think it's really my most loved korean movie

  2. as a big Korean film fan I try to suss out the better from from the so – so and watch that. not being a big teen angst film fan I did hop on this based on so the many excellent reviews. having the protagonist comprised over the dynamics of three life long school friends as they get closer to that graduation date, being in the throes of puberty, learning first hand hand how to deal with the challenge of emotional upheaval and the awkwardness that may ensue, the dynamics between our three principals continually shift as clarity and confusion trade leads in our unfolding story of current tragedy unveiling and flashback insight into the circumstances that might reveal or not, how Y landed on X and Z split the scene because he couldn’t take it anymore. the dynamics unravel even more as the father of “hot shit” tries to come to terms with loss in multiple inquiries into we get a special unfolding by youthful director in a mesmerizing tale told unusually. good stuff if you can hang. does require you pay attention as normal rewards are not welcome int his script or ever on his set. encouraging start of a possible great careers for a handful of terrific hopefuls.

  3. This was such a compelling story that kept me guessing until the end. Like the Dad, I too was trying to figure out why Kaete killed himself. It showed the complexity of boys growing up and the macho facade that is expected as they grow into manhood. There was a sense of integrity in each of the three main characters which was refreshing to see. The boys had an understated respect for each other and the world around them. It was not until the end that the audience sees the love and emotions these actors kept bottled up so well. As the director states, why someone commits suicide is never about just one event but a whole host of emotional conflicts. Good film!

  4. I would absolutely love to watch an indie Korean movie but does it have subtitles because I am American and cannot understand the Korean language.