Director: Yoon Dan-bi

Runtime: 105 minutes

Cast: Jungun Choi, Heung-joo YANG, Seungjun PARK, Sangdong KIM, Park Hyun-young, Jang Geun-young, Lee Hyeon-seo


Synopsis: A family gathers at grandfather’s place by chance and breaks up. Okju, who has been observing her family for a short time, gains the strength to rise above the loss through this experience.


Moving On is the debut feature from South Korean producer/writer/director Yoon Dan-bi and is a subtle portrait of three generations of a family forced to live under one roof by circumstance.

A father, Byungi [Heung-joo YANG], his teenage daughter, Okju [Jungun Choi] and his young son, Dongju [Seungjun PARK] move into the home of his father, a sick old man, to spend the summer with him. Although one of the reasons would be to care for the elderly, the truth is also that the father’s economic situation is precarious (he sells shoes on the street) and he can no longer afford a home. Then the father’s sister, Mijung [Park Hyun-young] is added to the family group, an aunt with a very good relationship with her nephews and with a marital crisis.

During this summer vacation of Okju and Dongju at their grandpa’s house, Dongju adapts quickly to his new home, but Okju feels awkward about this new environment. Once their soon-to-be-divorced aunt also moves in, and as Okju spends time with her family, the house and her grandpa start to grow on her.

A timely and universally resounding family drama, South Korean filmmaker Yoon Dan-bi’s first feature uniquely uses the device of differing sibling perspectives to look at changing social attitudes and economic struggles.

Moving On takes an observational approach, elegantly and subtly showcasing how each of the main characters need each other to survive.

Yoon Dan-bi and cinematographer Ji-hyeon Kim present a family drama with such sensitivity and capture relationships with authenticity. The young siblings have a sparky relationship.

The adolescent Okju doesn’t seem to care for her younger brother’s constant doting – while the adult brother and sister is a polite but sharp relationship where affection and long simmering differences are coexisting peacefully.

Dad wants a new career. Auntie wants to restart her life. Okju wants to be treated like an adult. Dongju just wants to be loved and recognized.  They all care about grandpa’s standard of living in their own different ways.  These characters are fleshed out with interesting inner lives and the three generations come together as a believable, strong whole.

There is great attention to detail and the feel for the characters in Moving On.

The film has excellent ensemble performances, with an exceptional one from Choi Jung-woon as Ok-ju who manages a wide array of emotional moments with poise and self-assurance.

Writer-director Yoon Dan-bi is one of several young women making a splash in South Korean cinema in recent years and it is easy to see why Moving On has been seen as one of the best South Korean films of the year.

A contemplative and powerful slice-of-life drama, full of emotion, thoughtful scenes and effective silences.


Streaming on MUBI

Images courtesy of MUBI