혼자 사는 사람들 「Honja saneun saramdeul 」
Release Date: May 19th, 2021
Duration: 91 mins.
Director: Hong Sung-eun
Writer: Hong Sung-eun (Screenplay),
Starring: Gong Seung-yeon, Jung Da-eun, Seo Hyun-woo, Kim Mo-beom, Kim Hannah,
Winner of Osaka Asian Film Festival 2022‘s Grand Prix (Best Picture) award, Aloners is an accomplished debut film made by Hong Sung-eun after she graduated from the Korean Academy of Film Arts. In her portrait of a young woman living solo in Seoul, Hong broaches the highly global topic of the way people become isolated from others by the demands and distractions of an urban capitalist economy. This convincing portrait of isolation, done without without didacticism or contrivance, is one that can lead viewers to understand how societies become atomised.
“I’m no good on my own. I just pretend to be.”
Yu Jina (Gong Seung-yeon) is our protagonist and when we meet her we see that she has become the top employee at a credit card company call centre where she does her nine-to-five. The company motto is “Happy Your Life” but this is a sentiment she feigns on the line with her effortlessly breezy but ultimately coldly efficient treatment of the often angry people who call in and how we see that her smooth delivery is a massive contrast to the ire with which she treats others in the real world.