Monday Night Film Series: Past Lives

Category: movies 125

October 23 | Tilley Hall, UNB Campus | 7:30 p.m.

Past Lives | 106 min, USA, 2022, English, Korean

Principal Cast: Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, John Magaro

Two deeply connected childhood friends, Nora and Hae Sung, fatefully reunite in New York City after being wrested apart 20 years ago, in this decades-spanning romance from writer-director Celine Song.

The story begins in South Korea, where 12-year-old Nora is preparing to emigrate with her family to Canada. But she is leaving someone dear behind: Hae Sung, her closest friend. Twelve years later, Nora (Greta Lee) has relocated from Toronto to New York to pursue her dreams of being a playwright. Eventually, with the help of the internet, Nora finds Hae Sung and rekindles their friendship over Skype. But with 6,000 miles persistently separating them, they lose their connection again, as they once did as children.

More time passes, and the two friends – now in their 30s – reunite in person in New York. By this time, Nora is married to a writer named Arthur (John Magaro) and Hae Sung is newly out of a long-term relationship. Nora shows Hae Sung the city as they elegantly dance around their past and the fated nature of their relationship. The ties between two people over the course of their lives is expressed beautifully and succinctly in a single Korean word: in-yeon. Past Lives is a delicately layered triptych that confronts destiny, love, and the choices that shape a life. Song’s graceful romance is about the acceptance of loss that becomes a defining part of adulthood.

Monday Night Film Series: Past Lives | October 23 | 7:30 p.m. | Tilley Hall, UNB Campus

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