Comparisons to Before Sunrise are inevitable when two protagonists spend an evening wandering a city contemplating life. While Linklater’s trilogy is a more polished piece of work, Our Midnight doesn’t share its sense of possibility, and isn’t so wide-eyed. Jesse and Celine discuss love and intimacy; Ji-hoon and Eun-yeung ponder what’s keeping them alive.

Fed up with his low income and barely-there career as an actor, Ji-hoon’s partner leaves. He takes a job patrolling Seoul at night with the aim of reducing the city’s high suicide rate. Crossing a bridge, he sees Eun-yeung looking out over the water. She’s troubled at work where she’s reported a colleague and ex-partner to the police for his abusive behaviour.

Together, they stroll the city. Gorgeously shot in black and white, it’s a film in which characters find permission to be vulnerable once the sun goes down. Despite a population of almost ten million people, these streets are mostly empty, giving Ji-hoon and Eun-yeung the space to fill them with what’s bearing down on them. They are stuck and alone, with no simple way out of their predicaments, no close companion to lend a hand. Instead of romantic potential, they share the burdens on their souls, because at least for one night they have someone to help carry the weight.

It’s a film in which death never feels far away. Ji-hoon hears of a suicide and insists on attending the funeral. It makes the central conversation feel particularly delicate, but radical too. There’s a sense this is the first time anyone has listened and taken them seriously, in a city struggling with a suicide epidemic.

Set against a backdrop of loneliness, Our Midnight is more a longing to be heard than a longing to be loved, and finds hope in the miracle of connection.



CAST: Lee Seung-hun, Park Seo-eun, Lim Young-woo

DIRECTOR: Lim Jung-eun

WRITER: Lim Jung-eun

SYNOPSIS: Ji-hoon and Eun-yeung walk around Seoul, opening up, for the first time, about what weighs on their hearts amidst a mental health epidemic.