Burning (2018)



Burning is available to rent, buy or stream.

Some films forever burn a place in your memory; these rare cinematic treasures eat away at your thoughts long after the credits roll. They instil an instant need to revisit them as you attempt to find all the clues you missed and search for closure. Lee Chang-dong’s Burning is one of those films. Based on the short story by Haruki Murakami, Chang-dong’s movie ripples with tension as we are taken on a twisted journey that Hitchcock would be proud of. Here themes of consumerism, wealth, memory, and desire combine to create a sublime and intricate mystery that is haunting, confusing, dark and beautiful.

Jongsu (Yoo Ah-in) is a young graduate who lives an isolated life as he scrapes together a living as a delivery driver in Seoul. However, Jongsu’s life is about to change following a chance encounter with Haemi (Yun Jong-Seo). Haemi seems to know Jongsu, and her presence does, indeed, bring back some vague yet confused childhood memories. However, when Haemi becomes involved with a wealthy businessman, Jongsu finds his life consumed by a spiralling mystery of no escape, which will test his moral compass as the past and present merge into a living and breathing nightmare.


Burning’s narrative never allows for complacency as it weaves romance, tragedy and mystery into an unsettling tapestry of terror. The result leaves us hanging with a story that is unfinished yet climatic as the secrets and lies built up over its runtime float in the air like the burning embers of a raging fire. With outstanding performances, direction and cinematography, Lee Chang-dong’s ability to slowly build a sense of fear and uncertainty is masterful as he weaves his slippery tale of human connection and memory. Burning is no carbon copy thriller; it’s a unique, haunting, and bold journey that further highlights the beauty and strength of South Korean filmmaking. 

error: Alert: Content selection is disabled!!