Hanyeong obtained her tour guide-interpreter's license and became a tour guide in Korea. She gets used to her new surroundings. However, she is forced to face challenges as she loses touch with her brother. And the number of Chinese tourists decreases due to the political tensions between China and Korea.
KWAK Eun-mi has attracted attention with her short films Beneath the Wheel (2015) and A Hand-written Poster (2017) and returned with her debut feature film A Tour Guide, which follows a North Korean defector’s exhausting life. Hanyeong learned Chinese while staying in China after escaping from North Korea and became a tour guide for Chinese tourists in South Korea. Her dream is to earn a lot of money to send to her remaining family in North Korea and to have a happy life with her brother, Inhyeok, with whom she came to South Korea, but her dream doesn’t come true easily. Inhyeok walks out of their home, and Hanyeong loses touch with him. Besides, her dream of being a successful tour guide is hindered by the THADD issue. On top of that, her only friend, Jeongmi, also a North Korean defector, plans to emigrate to another country, and Hanyeong starts to find life difficult to bear. Jeongmi’s dialogues are the essence of the film: “We may look the same, but for South Koreans, we are worse than foreigners.” A Tour Guide shows how indifferent Korea is to others, demonstrated by these North Korean defectors through Hanyeong’s facial expressions, which become more confused and exhausted as time passes. (MOON Seok)
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