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.