Canola (계춘할망), dir. Chang, South Korea 2016, 116 min., Korean with English subtitles
Hong Gye-choon (Youn Yuh-jung) is getting on in years, yet still works as a diver along the rocky black coast of Jeju Island. She dotes upon her granddaughter Hye-ji (Lee Seul-bi), left behind by an absconding daughter. But one day, as the two of them walk through the town’s central market, little Hye-ji disappears – only to reappear as a teenager (Kim Go-eun) now relocated to the big city.
Blessed with a brilliant cast, Chang’s third full-length feature is a powerful story of two people with so much in common yet living worlds apart. Perhaps its most rewarding moments are the scenes between Kim Go-eun, a teenager caught between the temptations of the city and the familiarity of the country, and the outstanding Youn Yuh-jung, who this year became the first Korean actor to win an Academy Award for acting for her performance in Minari.