They are losers, but nice ones. Every day they hang out at Yeri’s bar. All three are smitten by the young Chinese-Korean woman. In turn, Yeri doesn’t really seem to have a preference. To her, they are all equally sweet: Jongbin, a milk-drinking epileptic, Ikjune, a nonchalant former petty criminal and the introverted Jungbum, who fled from North Korea.
Zhang Lu (Grain in Ear, 2005), born in China, shot this tragicomedy in Susaek, a deprived, messy neighbourhood of Seoul. Fellow filmmakers convincingly play the leads. A Quiet Dream is a charming portrait of a trio of hustlers shot in soothing black-and-white. It slowly becomes apparent that dreams play an important role as things become increasingly surreal. Yet the melancholy, dryly humorous tale remains realistic, with a keen eye for the day-to-day problems and desires of Yeri and her three hopeful suitors.