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Treeless Mountains review

A restrained look at abandonment through the eyes of a child

Brooklynbased Korean director So Yong Kim’s delicate and minimalist tale focuses intently on two little sisters, who are abandoned to their gruff, tipsy aunt.

Shot from a child’s-eye view, with a tot’s fuzzy sense of time passing, it features a riveting performance from six-year-old Kim Hee-yeon as Jin, doughtily determined to protect her sister as they struggle to earn their keep and regain their mother.

A film of small gestures closely observed, it’s surprisingly unsentimental, despite its heart-tugging qualities.

Like Hirokazu Koreeda’s similar Nobody Knows, the careful balance of longing and restraint is quietly compelling.

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Available platformsMovie