Sangok has recently moved in with her sister to get used to Korea again after a long stay in the USA. She lives from day to day, in the present moment, when she meets a filmmaker who offers her a project.
“‘Let me see what is in front of my face,’ she whispers, alone again. In front of her, Seoul is remapping itself in Lego block apartment towers and landscaped greenery, garish in the young sun. Sangok visits her childhood home. Its garden is the only thing left, and that too is dwarfed by her ‘heavy memories’ and the city’s gentrification.
Sangok has felt this rush of beauty and gratitude before, she tells us. Years ago, she experienced an episode of wanting to die. But on passing Seoul Station she saw the faces of strangers in the crowd and they suddenly appeared to her so beautiful ‘I could almost lick them.’ Sangok decided not to die that day. In front of her face, their faces saved her.”
Discover more on the cinema of Hong Sang-soo in our Dossier ‘Hong Sang-soo. Infinite Worlds Possible’.
- 1Becca Voelcker, “In Front of Your Face finds beauty in its impermanent immediacy”, Sight and Sound, 2021.