Gay Asia: The Handmaiden

(Chan-wook Park, 2016, South Korea, 169 minutes)

After premiering in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, Chan-wook Park’s The Handmaiden became an international hit when it was released later that year. As much has happened since its 2016 release—fellow Korean director Bong Joon-ho won a pile of Oscars for 2019’s Parasite, and Park himself delivered Decision to Leave, one of the best films of 2022—now is a good time to take a second look at it. The Handmaiden is based on Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith, though changing the setting to 1930s Korea, while it was still under Japanese colonial rule. A new handmaiden (Kim Tae-ri) is hired to work for an isolated Japanese heiress (Kim Min-hee, a frequent presence on our screen for her many collaborations with Hong Sangsoo), but what the Lady doesn’t know is that her new handmaiden is a swindler who intends to seduce her and steal her fortune. The Handmaiden is a gorgeous production on an aesthetic level and engrossing on a narrative one, sporting many twists and turns. Indeed, we have our own surprise in store for you, special to this screening.

In Korean with English subtitles.

Sponsored by the Gateway Korea Foundation, Betty’s Books, Metro Trans Umbrella Group, and Left Bank Books.

Saturday, June 17 at 7:30pm

Winifred Moore Auditorium
470 E. Lockwood Ave., St. Louis, MO 63119

Event Type

School of Communications, Film Series, Art & Performances


School of Communications


Webster University Film Series


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