The Handmaiden

Park Chanwook

IFFR 2017

Limelight

  • 144'
  • South Korea
  • 2016
Sookhee is the new maid servant of the Japanese noblewoman Hideko. The lady travels to her imposing and isolated estate that is also inhabited by Hideko’s heartless uncle Kouzuki, who spends his days in the majestic library. One day, Count Fujiwara appears and wants to court Hideko. 
Park Chanwook sets his feverish and intelligent adaptation of Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith in South Korea, during the Japanese occupation in the 1930s. With characters who have something to keep secret: for instance, the (fake) Count Fujiwara is conspiring with Sookhee, who is in reality a professional thief. She has to convince her mistress to marry her conspirator, so that he can claim the family fortune. Thanks to Sookhee’s blossoming love for Hideko, which is portrayed in sultry sex scenes, the plan threatens to derail. The result is an opulently decorated trilogy; an erotic thriller with beautiful Japanese costumes and interiors.
Director
Park Chanwook
Country of production
South Korea
Production Year
2016
Festival Edition
IFFR 2017
Length
144'
Medium
DCP
Original title
Ahgassi
Languages
Korean, Japanese
Producers
Syd Lim / Yong Film, Park Chanwook / Moho Film
Production Companies
Yong Film, Moho Film
Sales
CJ Entertainment
Screenplay
Park Chanwook, Chung Seokyung , Based on a novel by Sarah Waters
Cinematography
Chung Chunghoon
Editor
Kim Jaebum, Kim Sangbum
Production Design
Ryu Seonghhie
Sound Design
Jung Gun
Music
Jo Yeongwook
Cast
Kim Minhee, Kim Taeri, Ha Jungwoo, Jo Jinwoong, Kim Haesuk, Moon Sori
Local Distributor
Cinéart Netherlands