Set in 1994 in Seoul, House Of Hummingbird is a touching coming-of-age drama centered around the quiet, unexceptional eighth-grader Eunhee (Ji-hu Park). Struggling to make passing grades and subject to non-stop screaming at home, she spends her time finding meaning in the love and friendships of her peers, in shoplifting, and in karaoke bars. It’s in her cram school professor (Sae-byeok Kim), however, that Eunheen finds the answers that she seeks, as the two form an unlikely friendship.
In her feature debut, Bora Kim puts Korean culture and mores on display, gently criticizing the reduced role where women are pressured to exist. The film’s measured pace allows it to examine the many moments between despair, contrasting the joy of adolescence with its miseries. Bora Kim presents an honest and poignant take on youth, filled with warm cinematography from Gook-hyun and introduces a powerhouse performance from the young Ji-hu Park. An assured debut, House of Hummingbird cements Kim’s place as an upcoming auteur to follow.