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Inside a Los Angeles Korean spa, behind a curtain of steam, is a secret escape for David (Joe Seo), a closeted 18-year-old Korean American. Desperate to support his struggling family, David finds work at the spa, where he experiences both fear and a strange thrill as he discovers his own sexuality.
Andrew Ahn’s debut feature, Spa Night opens a dialogue about identity that runs deeper than more conventional LGBTQ coming-of-age stories. It is also a tragedy about the grim realities of an immigrant family with a shattered American dream, and the burdens of an obedient son who feels he’s the last hope for his parents’ collapsed aspirations. With a delicate cinematic touch, Spa Night masterfully unravels David’s conflicting emotions and loneliness while shining a light on the cultural clash between Koreans and Americans.
HANBIN KIM TIFF Asian Heritage Month Staff Advisory Committee
Winner, Bill Sherwood Award for Best First Feature, 2016 Inside Out LGBT Film Festival
Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Performance (Joe Seo), 2016 Sundance Film Festival
TIFF’s Asian Heritage Month programme is made possible thanks to the generous assistance of: Blockchain Venture Capital Inc., Canada Hong Kong Alliance – Toronto, Andy Chan, Elegant Financial Inc., Sharifa Khan/Balmoral Marketing, Alan Kwong, Irwin Li, Nobis Inc., and Justin Poy
Korean, English, Spanish