The Handmaiden

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South Korea | 2016 | 145 Minutes | Park Chan-wook

October 28 - November 28, 2016

SIFF Cinema Uptown | Ends Nov 28 
From celebrated Korean director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Stoker) comes this visually sumptuous and absorbingly original crime revenge story about the relationship between two women in the 1930s–a young Japanese Lady living on a secluded estate, and the newly hired Korean handmaiden who is secretly plotting to steal her inheritance. Closed Captioning Available.

1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation, a girl is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress who lives a secluded life on a large countryside estate with her domineering Uncle). But the maid has a secret: she is a pickpocket recruited by a swindler who hopes to seduce the Lady, rob her of her fortune, and lock her up in a madhouse. The plan seems to proceed according to plan until the two women discover some unexpected emotions.

Inspired by the novel Fingersmith by British author Sarah Waters, The Handmaiden borrows the most dynamic elements of its source material and combines it with Park Chan-wook’s singular vision to create an unforgettable viewing experience.


“The best film at Cannes this year. Deliriously twisty.” – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

“Equally thrilling to follow and look at. An exactingly composed work, constructed with the tightness of a Swiss Watch and dripping in period style, that still demands a lean-forward attention to plot. This is a movie that features a great reveal--and then manages a short time later to make you view that reveal differently. And that's all in the first half.” – Steven Zeitchik, LA Times

“It's awesome...a beautifully shot, brilliantly paced page-turner of a novel brought to life. How often do we get to see an epic, lush, yet also pulpy, genre story that's so firmly on the side of its female characters?” – Jada Yuan, New York Magazine

“All the best things about Asian cinema, rolled into one. An amusingly kinky erotic thriller and love story that brims with delicious surprises, making its two-and-a-half hours fly by.”– Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Principal Cast: Ha Jung-woo, Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Cho Jin-woong
  • Country: South Korea
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 145 Minutes
  • Music: Jo Yeong-wook
  • Language: Korean, Japanese