Past Event2 Aug - 3 Aug 2023

Past Lives

No longer available

The Civic


Inseparable classmates in late 90s Seoul, Na Young and Hae Sung are already quite sure of their feelings for one another. But when Na Young’s family abruptly moves to America, 12 years pass before Hae Sung is able to track down Nayoung (now living in New York and going by Nora) via Facebook.

It’s another 12 years until he books a flight to see her. Their days walking and talking around Manhattan shimmer with pensive transience, writer-director Song’s screenplay skilfully holding emotional breathing space between the film’s simple yet expressive passages of dialogue.

Although both its title and characters refer to “In Yun”—a Korean concept of fated connection between two people in a past life—Song’s film gently eschews the true love clichés of destiny and circumstance. Its final scenes, pitch-perfect in their aching certainty, will have you grasping for air—and tissues, too.

View the full NZIFF 2023 programme at

New Zealand International Film Festival

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