Park Chan-wook’s ‘The Handmaiden’ to open in North America

October 19, 2016

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 18 (Yonhap) — South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook’s latest erotic thriller “The Handmaiden” will open in North America this week, the film’s local distributor said Tuesday.

The film will be shown at five cinemas in Los Angeles and New York starting Friday, CJ Entertainment America said, adding that negotiations are under way to bring the film to other cities in the region.

Loosely based on Sarah Waters’ award-winning novel “Fingersmith,” the film starring Kim Min-hee, Cho Jin-woong, Ha Jung-woo and Kim Tae-ri relocated the Victorian Britain setting to 1930s colonial Korea. It tells the story of a young maid hired by a con man to seduce a wealthy heiress, only to fall in love with her.

Premiered at the 69th Cannes Film Festival, the film has been sold to distributors based in 176 countries. It surpassed the previous record of 167 set by Bong Joon-ho’s English-debut film “Snowpiercer” in 2013.

In South Korea, it drew about 4.3 million viewers, the most for an R-rated film shown in the country.

A compiled photo of official posters of "The Handmaiden"

A compiled photo of official posters of “The Handmaiden”