Going Fast!: Treeless Mountain


One of my favorite films of the year is ending its New York run at the Quad Cinema tonight! Treeless Mountain is a beautiful, quiet, and moving film by So Yong Kim that tells the tale of two young girls who are abandoned by their mother and then shuffled among relatives and landscapes. Set in South Korea, Kim’s birthplace, and starring several marvelous untrained actors, the film strikes a common chord of loss, resilience, and abiding hope. It’s a small film in the best sense.


It’s also worth keeping an eye out for Bradley Rust Gray’s (Kim’s husband) film The Exploding Girl, which recently won an acting award at the Tribeca Film Festival. It stars Zoe Kazan (remember her in Revolutionary Road with that lovely old-fashioned face?) in a love letter to confused youth, elusive love, and the city of New York.

  1. ESTHER says:

    Just from the brief information regarding the film, I was very moved. Is it a true story? Are the kids that are being depicted in the picture the girls who were abandoned by their mother? I am Korean and I remember seeing on the Korean channel news about the growing population of children in orphanages. It is really sad to see so many kids separated from their parents and being placed in an orphanage. The economy in Korea is currently at rock bottom and I bet that is one of the main reasons why kids are abandoned. Right now, my parents are in Korea while I am living here and it was very hard for me to be separated from them at such a young age of about 10 or 11, but I can’t imagine how much harder it would be for these kids.

    “Treeless Mountain.” That is such an emotional title. When I hear “mountain” in a tough situation, I relate “mountain,” being high and all, to the level of difficulty, but “treeless?” I interpreted it as saying “Mountainless Mountain.” It seems to me that it might be saying that perhaps the challenges that they face cannot be overcomed no matter how hard one might try. Without trees, a mountain would not be a mountain. So, hardship would not be a hardship if it is not hard. I am not sure if I am making any sense but it is very challenging for me to explain what I mean. I just feel like the kids might have already given up or something. It aches my heart.

    What DOES the title mean?

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