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Microhabitat (2017)Microhabitat (2017)

Microhabitat (2017)

Challenging self-preservation in a profit-oriented world

Drama, Romance

7.4

movie

South Korea

Korean

Character-driven, Depressing, Dramatic

2017

Female director, Jeon Go-woon

Ahn Jae-hong, Cho Soo-hyang, Choi Deok-moon

106 min

Synopsis

Miso lives from day to day by housekeeping. Cigarettes and whiskey are the two things that get her through the day. As cigarette prices and rent start to rise, Miso decides to give up her house for cigarettes and whiskey, leading her to couch surf with old friends while reconsidering her place in life.

Our Take

7.4
Renee Cuisia

Miso may be living day to day on her meager earnings as a cleaner, but she is decidedly content. She insists that all she needs to get by are cigarettes, whiskey, and time with her boyfriend, so when a spike in rent and prices invites her to reassess her priorities, she doesn’t budge. Instead of forgoing these luxuries, she gives up her tiny place and couch surfs with her old bandmates. What follows is a reunion of sorts, where darkly humorous epiphanies are had on both ends about adulthood, responsibilities, and what it really means to be happy in an increasingly indifferent, profit-oriented world.  

Microhabitat treads on very grave themes, and the images it conjures can be unsettling. But it is also surprisingly light on its feet, displaying sharp satire and sweet empathy for its unyielding protagonist. Miso is portrayed with a smartness and softness that evades rational judgment, and this endearment makes the story, especially the ending, all the more painfulul, poignant, and impactful.

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