THE HIDDEN GEMS OF INDIE CINEMA: RE-ENCOUNTER (Min Yong-geun, 2010)
54 Varick St. at Laight St.
Tuesday, May 10, free, 6:30
Series runs every other Tuesday through June 21
The popular — and free — Korean Movie Night returns to Tribeca Cinemas this month with the start of Subway Cinema’s new Tuesday-night series, “The Hidden Gems of Indie Cinema,” focusing on smaller, independent films from South Korea. First up is the North American premiere of writer-director Min Yong-geun’s wonderful Re-Encounter, winner of a number of international festival awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress. Yoo Da-in stars as Hye-hwa, a charming young woman who works in a veterinary hospital, rescues stray dogs from the evil dogcatcher, and helps take care of her widowed boss’s (Park Hyeok-Kwon) son. But when her high school boyfriend, Han-soo (Yoo Yeon-seok), suddenly shows up after a stint in the military, her life is turned upside down, as he convinces her that their baby, the result of a teen pregnancy five years earlier, is living nearby, having been adopted by a local professor and his wife. Re-Encounter is a moving, intimate film about motherhood, family, and adoption, filled with plot twists that echo Hye-hwa’s complex emotional state; at one moment, she can be playing “mom” to a young boy, while the next she clips her fingernails and adds them to her growing collection. While she relates well to canines, her human relationships are far more difficult. Min never gives straight answers, instead keeping things just mysterious enough to keep the audience riveted without getting frustrated. Yoo is outstanding in the lead role; you won’t be able to take your eyes off her. The series continues May 24 with the North American premiere of Lee Seo’s Missing Person, June 7 with Lim Woo-seong’s Vegetarian, and June 21 with Jeong Seong-il’s Café Noir.