Kim Yong-hoon • South Korea • 2020 • A pitch-black neo-noir crime thriller and a Louis Vuitton bag.
Jung-man is down on his luck. A hotel receptionist in Pyongtaek, he and his wife have been living hand-to-mouth since going bankrupt, with his teenage daughter and slightly senile mother to care for as well. One day he finds a Louis Vuitton handbag in a locker, moving it to a storage room before realizing it’s filled with cash. A fateful decision will find him entangled with gangsters, loansharks, a young sex worker and all manner of lowlives who want in on the spoils.
With stylized performances and cinematography, Beasts Clawing at Straws is a pitch-black neo-noir crime thriller in which pieces fall into place with each double-cross. Kim Yong-hoon’s directorial debut premiered at Sarajevo, Busan, Moscow, and IFFR - International Film Festival Rotterdam, where it won the Special Jury Award.