CIFF Feature HANDMAIDEN web 2
World Cinema

The Handmaiden

(Ah-ga-ssi)

Year 2016
Runtime 145 mins
Language Korean, Japanese
Subtitles English

Based on the historical crime novel Fingersmith by Welsh writer Sarah Waters, THE HANDMAIDEN takes place in 1930s Korea, during the Japanese occupation of the country. A seemingly innocent maid (Kim Tae-Ri) is hired by a Japanese heiress, Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee), to help out on a secluded country estate. But the maid is actually a pickpocket, recruited to defraud the Lady by the secretive Count Fujiwara (Ha Jung-woo), who plans to seduce the noblewoman, steal her fortune, and lock her up in a madhouse. As the plot progresses, everything is going smoothly – but then the duo run into unexpected emotions that complicate the whole plan. 

Director Park Chan-wook (OLDBOY, STOKER) perfectly captures the deception, intrigue and sexuality of his characters in this beautifully shot film. Expertly weaving tension, thrills, and laugh-out-loud moments of comedic relief throughout, THE HANDMAIDEN was nominated for a Palme d'Or and won the Vulcain Prize for the Technical Artist at Cannes 2016.

Countries

South Korea
Awards
Cannes Film Festival, Vulcain Prize for the Technical Artist
Festivals
Cannes Film Festival, TIFF, Karlovy Vary, Jerusalem Film Festival
Director
Park Chan-Wook
Executive Producer
Lee Miky, Jeong Tae-Sung
Producer
Park Chan-Wook, Jeong Wonjo, Jong-Dae Kim
Screenwriter
Park Chan-Wook, Chung Seo-Kyung
Cinematographer
Chung Chung-Hoon
Editor
Kim Sang-Beom, Kim Jae-Bum
Music
Jo Yeong-Wook
Cast
Kim Min-Hee, Ha Jung-Woo, Kim Tae-Ri