A painter’s assistant is hoping to launch her career by participating with works of her own in the next session of the most important art venue to come. Her work with her master occupies her time entirely. When she hears her master say he won’t let her start her individual career as a painter, she gets tempted by a love affair starting to neglect her job as an assistant.
Jungjae Hur’s ‘Assistant’ is a very careful exploration of human nature and we felt it was strongly connected to Korean traditional values making it very genuine and unique.
Therefore while the assistant is young and more influenced by modern times, along with the youngsters’ temptation to act more freely, the master painter shows himself as a very conservative person, much treasuring traditional values but with vices of his own.
When frustrations escalate due to the different aim of the two, the young assistant’s approach to their relation becomes too direct and destitute of discretion, and combined with the repressed feelings between the two, things become incredibly awry and emotionally hurtful.
The master will feel his gibun was hurt and that the young assistant has forgotten about her true status so he tries to serve her a humility lesson. Carefully directed and beautifully filmed, ‘Assistant’ is a very refined cinematic experience of interpersonal relationships. TMFF has awarded the best film of May 2016 award for its mastery of ‘painting’ the story so finely.