Bora Kim’s debut feature addresses the unbearable loneliness of adolescence through this sincere coming-of-age story. Set in 1994 Seoul, the film follows 14-year-old Eun-hee (Park Ji-hu) as she faces the trials and tribulations of growing up and finding her identity. Middle-school heartbreak, a new cram-school professor, and a complicated family life — Eun-hee endures them all alone, with no shortage of angst and tears. Kim emphasizes the small details of Eun-hee’s daily life and the intricacies of her relationships in a way that makes the viewer feel part of them. With its hazy, nostalgic feel, House of Hummingbird will throw you back to your childhood, with all the familiar themes of growing pains and self-discovery.
Official selection, TIFF Next Wave 2020
Content advisory: depictions of/references to child abuse