Treeless Mountain
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A portrait of a young girl coming to terms with loss and abandonment, Six-year-old Jin and her younger sister Bin live on the edge of disaster, but they are not aware of it. In the small apartment where they reside with their single mother, the menacing sounds of the outer world disturb their precarious cocoon. One day, their mother packs all their belongings. For Jin, the days of going to school are over. Mommy is gone, leaving her and Bin in a hostile home with their alcoholic Big Aunt and a piggy bank to slowly fill with coins. Once the bank is full, their mother will be back.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"[The Film] offers a stark analysis of the human potential for random cruelty that recalls nothing less than Bresson's 'Mouchette', albeit with a denouement that holds a glimmer of optimism for the future."
‑ David Jenkins, Time Out
"So Yong Kim has a real gift for putting children at ease before the camera, and her two very young actresses (who are not sisters off-screen) reward her with performances of heartbreaking realism."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"Treeless Mountain, in its crisp simplicity, resembles a good poem, with many layers lurking beneath the organized, metered surface."
‑ Sarah Silver, Stop Smiling
"So Yong eschews drama for a quiet sensitivity which suggests the young can get over almost anything adults put upon them simply with native wit and resource."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"A touching, gentle examination of the giddy rush and sickening sense of dislocation that comes with being left on your own when you're young."
‑ Ben Machell, Times [UK]
"Somewhere in between all the emptiness -- the film's laconic chapters are separated by repeated static shots of clouds and sky -- a beautiful little point is made."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"Treeless Mountain casts a sad, pellucid spell. It looks at life from three feet off the ground and meets the hardening gaze of its 6-year-old protagonist head on."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Cinematographer Anne Misawa shoots from a low angle the wonderful, subtly expressive faces of the siblings, the older melancholic, the younger endearingly clownish."
‑ Gerald Peary, Boston Phoenix
"Gentle and observational, this slice-of-life from Korea has only the thinnest frame of a plot as it follows two young girls on a dramatic journey. But it's so vague that audiences will find it hard to latch onto."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"Not an easy watch, but worth sticking with."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"In modest, lovingly observed ways, the director gives her characters -- and, one hazards, herself -- the gentlest gift of sweet possibility."
‑ Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"So Yong Kim has made another minimalist masterpiece, a quiet movie of sharply observed details and two girls who will break your heart."
‑ G. Allen Johnson, Houston Chronicle
"There is no profound drama here, however, so you might end up resenting the film while it drags from you the emotional responses that the sight of anxious little children inevitably triggers."
‑ Edward Porter, Sunday Times (UK)
"Wonderful performances from the two young leads and a gently heart-breaking narrative arc make this a slow winner."
‑ Patrick Peters, Empire Magazine
"Like breath on the window of a late-night bus, Treeless Mountain is a work of diaphanous and fugitive beauty."
‑ Sukhdev Sandhu, Daily Telegraph
More reviews for Treeless Mountain on Rotten Tomatoes