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Tribeca 2019 Film Review: “House of Hummingbird” (2018) ★★★★★


The number of people committing suicide grows every year. Children find themselves in an environment where they have to make a hard choice – to live or not to. Sadly, those kids never get enough support from their parents. When they try, they get a harsh rejection. Even if they want to, they can’t so easily forget, while their parents become an invisible enabler to a concurrent situation in which they lose control over the life they gave and the life they have no control over – their own children.

Set in the fast-paced Seoul of 1994, an extremely lonely girl named Eun-hee lives one day at a time in search of something or someone that can appreciate and love her for what she is. As she tries to taste life in the only form she recognizes, the young girl meets her new teacher Young-ji, a woman who with her serene presence changes Eun-hee completely. But even that happiness does not last long when one event after another crushes the little girl one by one. 

Eun-hee is a very intelligent girl. With the right support, she can thrive in school, and maybe one day become someone important. But as we watch her, we start recognizing an alarming sign of loneliness that becomes part of her soul. She has a best friend with whom she is inseparable. But when a little accident occurs, they lose each other’s sight for a long period. It’s when our heroine is being deprived of the attention from her parents and being beaten up by her brother just because he wants to communicate with Eun-hee that way. The girl becomes more hungry for love and attention when she finds a new friend – a girl who likes Eun-hee as she describes, “more than her family.”

Written and directed by Bora Kim, “House of Hummingbird” is a beautifully directed piece from Korea that will melt even a frozen heart. It’s a sad story of little children, their plea of not staying alone, their cry for their parents, and how they may lose the sight of life in the blink of an eye. The beautiful performances from the entire cast will help you stay engaged throughout, while Eun-hee will slowly claim your heart.

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