In Another Country: A Handsome Korean Lifeguard and an Imaginary White Lady
Those who have seen Cairo Time, The Portuguese Nun, and I Want to See will make this connection upon watching In Another Country: These films are all about a white woman visiting, exploring, and getting lost in a city in a foreign land. In Cairo Time, the city is Cairo, The Portuguese Nun is set in Lisbon, and I Want to See is in Beirut. In Another Country takes place in Mohang, a seaside town in South Korea. With the exception of one film, The Portuguese Nun, the women are in the twilight of their middle years. With the exception of another film, Cairo Time, the women are French. And with the exception of still another film, I Want to See, the women meet men who fall in love with them.
A handsome and tall Korean lifeguard (Yoo Jun-sang) is the main man/lover of In Another Country, which is composed of three vignettes. The vignettes are introduced as creations of a bored young film student who, with her mother, is hiding from debtors in Mohang. Each vignette involves a French woman (Isabelle Huppert) drifting around the town for one reason or another and encountering the handsome lifeguard who lives in a tent by the beach, swims like a machine, and barbecues meat at night. In the first story, the lifeguard plays a song for the French woman, which he sings in English. (Much of the dialogue in this film is conducted in the international language of broken English.) In the second story, the French woman desires the lifeguard's youth and the lifeguard desires her foreignness. In the third, the French woman gets him drunk and fucks him. The same pretty piece of piano music closes each section. It's almost impossible not to be charmed by this film.