A homeless lady struggles on Busan’s side streets.
A depiction of homelessness that understands how tiny discoveries can take on outsized significance in a deficiency of any domestic constants, Park Suk-Young’s Steel Flower observes a immature lady whose life on a streets is altered by a solid stroke of a tap-dance class. Not during all a dainty or trivializing feel-good story a summary competence suggest, a film instead proves to be roughly oppressively dour. Moments of attrition miscarry a monotony, though don’t sufficient to give a South Korean prolongation most interest for Stateside auds.
Jeong Ha-Dam stars as a unknown immature lady whose homelessness is never explained. We usually know that she lives out of a singular rolling suitcase, scrounging discard food from grill tables and squatting in whatever dirty deserted home she can find during a finish of a night. Though we can’t see it in her scarcely affectless eyes, she does have some incentive toward self-preservation, however unsound it is: She regularly inquires about practice during cafes and shops, though she can find no workaround when her impending bosses ask for a phone series or residence where they can hit her. In one peculiar, half-comic scene, she butchers a normal “irasshaimase!” that greets congregation of a Japanese grill so badly one wonders if she’s deranged.
Strangers mostly spin on this clearly infirm woman, infrequently in ways one struggles to believe. She gets in several earthy scuffles, and eventually becomes a aim of a bullying alcoholic in an nauseous stage that isn’t scarcely as convincing as a surrounding, dialogue-free scenes that observe her on her own.
As for a tap-dance category that captures her attention, Park treats it reduction as a impulse of beauty than a cognitive curiosity — a find a lady puzzles over, attempting to replicate stairs on barren streets, lending her harried wanderings some kind of kinetic intention. It’s not fun — distant from it — though it’s only adequate hint to keep her going until a universe stops perplexing to kick her up.
Production company: MoviEngine
Cast: Jeong Ha-Dam
Director-Screenwriter: Park Suk-Young
Producers: Bak Seong-Jin
Directors of photography: Park Hyeong-Ik, Oh Tae-Seung
Editor: Cho Hyun-Ju
Composer: Kim Dong-Ki
Venue: Marrakech International Film Festival (In Competition)
In Korean, 83 minutes