A love denied, or barely hinted at, emotions repressed and not conveyed for fear of no longer being able to love: BIG SLEEP, the fourth film in competition for the Generator +18 section, is a story of evasion and resignation but also of solidarity and acceptance.
A love denied, or barely hinted at, emotions repressed and not conveyed for fear of no longer being able to love: BIG SLEEP, the fourth film in competition for the Generator +18 section, is a story of evasion and resignation but also of solidarity and acceptance. It all starts against a backdrop of abandonment and loneliness: boys treated like objects steal out of hunger and poorness. They find a north star but they do not know how to recognize it, so they fall back into vice.
Behind a rough and edgy person hides a big heart: Kiyoung discovers a boy asleep in his hut. He is Gilho, a teenager on the run from brutality. He has suffered severe violence at the hands of his stepfather. “You can stay in my hut for a short time but you have to clean everything.” Then he understands, “Do you have a place to sleep?” He offers him clothes and food. The boy begrudgingly accepts, because he does not want to feel inferior anymore: that too would be undergoing violence, albeit psychological. “Hey, mister, did you take me in because you pity me?” The answer is as usual rough but disorienting: “Why should I? I pity me more. Remember kid: someone is pitied only because he wants to.” One night at dinner, he urges him to give his best: “You can build a life. You can do it.” He tells him to believe in himself but then he speaks to a colleague and says, “I can’t do it either.” It is a strong and sincere relationship (“I also ran away from home when I was 16: it was winter and I didn’t even have a coat”) but one broken when Gilho’s friends break into Kiyoung’s house. Enraged, Kiyoung ends up throwing the boy out. Outside the house, he is out of his head again. There is a report of theft – one of his friends stole something before leaving – and Gilho is in trouble; he is arrested, then released with a warning. Kiyoung search for him but his stepfather’s words are chilling: “He’s just making trouble for me, report him to the police if you want. I don’t know where he is.”
“I have been working as an art instructor,” explains director Kim Tae-Hoon, “For a long time I met many young people who have dropped out of school, living an hard life that inevitably scars them. That’s why BIG SLEEP was created for the many hurt kids I have encountered on my way. It was also made for the good-hearted adults who had the courage to take them in without asking for anything in return.”