In this delicate, spellbinding romance, two school friends explore a lingering, deep connection that appears to transcend time and distance. Sundance and Berlinale 2023.
Na Young and Hae Sung are friends but also academic rivals in their Korean school. A budding childhood romance is prematurely ended when Na Young emigrates with her family to Canada, adopting the name Nora for her new life. Twelve years later, Nora (Greta Lee) is a student in New York working on becoming a writer, while Hae Sung (Teo Yoo) is doing military service in Korea. An intriguing social media query leads to an online reunion for the two. Catching up on a video call leads to further appointments, and love is once again on the cards. Flashing forward a further 12 years sees Hae Sung and Nora finally reunited in New York, when Hae Sung decides to visit the city for a week. By now Nora is happily married to Arthur (John Magaro), but this decades-later reunion raises the inevitable question of destiny and what might have been. Past Lives
beautifully reflects on the Korean concept of In-Yun – the idea that interactions in past lives can lead to meaningful or intended connections in the present. Past Lives
is a film of great ambition, and deep emotion, and in its intimate tale of two people, it also captures something profound and universal in us all.Celine Song
’s play Endlings
received its world premiere at American Repertory Theater (2019). She has been a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and also wrote the first season of Amazon’s Wheel of Time
. Past Lives
is her feature film debut and appeared at both Sundance and the Berlinale earlier this year.