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Past Lives


Year: 2023 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Celine Song 
Starring: Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, John Magaro  
An image from Past Lives

This A24-distributed romantic drama explores how wondrous life can be as it begs the question we have all wanted to ask at some point: what would our relationship be like if things had gone just a little differently? Many films, including A24 films, have explored this in some way yet none to the extent of Past Lives. As this film deeply explores how despite our wishes and desires, life gets in the way and must go on, but what experiences we do have are valid and still reflect true feelings. And despite these true feelings not coming to fruition, they still have meaning as they represent what could have been. This film explores the idea of these feelings being meaningful and attaches value to them as they represent how much you truly care and love someone despite nothing going the way either of you wanted it to. From this description alone you can already tell how heart wrenching this film is. It has such a bittersweet feeling at times, as it explores how positive life can still be and that although you may get closure about what would have been, it has still slipped away from you.

This story focuses on the relationship between Hae Sung (Teo Yoo), and Nora (Greta Lee), who as children growing up in South Korea were closely connected best friends. Before a more intimate relationship between them can grow, however, they are separated when Nora’s family emigrates to Canada. What follows is an exploration of how both of their lives developed separately and their attempts to grow closer, all through the perspective of looking back on life as they are finally reunited after twenty years apart. This exploration culminates in conclusions on what their feelings towards each other are and what might be in another world. With two different lives linked by one shared wish being so beautifully explored, this film offers up a story which will have you closely invested throughout and trying hard not to cry by the end

James Patt

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Screenings of this film:

2023/2024 Autumn Term (digital)
2023/2024 Autumn Term (digital)