A Brighter Summer Day

A Brighter Summer Day

A slice-of-life drama that involves murders, this film combines elements of a paranoid thriller, a high school flick, a small town drama, a family drama, a gang crime story, and more into its languid runtime, depicting the complicated web of consequences, motivations, and relationships that fuels any community amplified by historical events (in this case, an influx of population). Yang uses both major historical events (said influx) and minor (memories from his past) to heighten this tale, and the heavy drama feels less sensational and more real because of it--that, and the down-to-earth performances. The murders, especially, are portrayed in a manner that does not separate them from any other scene, almost nonchalantly directed, so to speak, and that makes the film feel rooted in the humanity depicted rather than the Events.

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