• Hotel by the River

Hotel by the River

a film by Hong Sangsoo
2019, 96 minutes



An aging poet, Younghwan (Ki Joobong), summons his two estranged sons (Kwon Haehyo and Yu Junsang) to a solitary hotel beside the Han River because he feels his death is near. While waiting for them to arrive, he meets two women (Kim Minhee and Song Seonmi) out walking in the new-fallen snow and is struck by their angelic beauty. But the women have come to the hotel to do some healing of their own. As Younghwan moves between the women and his bickering sons, he also moves between his two minds: one that walks on the street and the other that communes with the eternal.

Shooting in gauzy black-and-white with a strikingly untethered hand-held camera, South Korean master Hong Sangsoo interweaves the various dramas of his characters in a quiet, straightforward way. But small coincidences and privileged moments combine to create a powerful meditation on family and death, one of the most affecting films in Hong’s oeuvre.


"Quietly elegiac"
- Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

"A pleasing shuffle, spiked with bittersweet humor and even a gentle, surprising hint of sentimentality. "
- Guy Lodge, Variety

"Never less than beautiful."
- Jordan Cronk, Cinema Scope

"Hong creates a constellation of objects and moments—architectural, automotive, culinary, medical, whimsical—and gives them a new artistic state of being, a reverberant poetic identity."
- Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Press Materials

High-Res Stills, Poster and Press Kit
Press Release

Where to watch

Buy at CG store
Buy at CG store

Buy at CG store


Apr 4: Oklahoma City Museum of Art - Oklahoma City, OK
Apr 4-11: Wisconsin Film Festival - Madison, WI
Apr 4-20: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival - Minneapolis, MN
Apr 11-12: Cleveland Cinematheque - Cleveland, OH
Apr 19-21: Center for Contemporary Arts - Santa Fe, NM
Apr 19-25: Gene Siskel Film Center - Chicago, IL
Apr 26-May 2: Northwest Film Forum - Seattle, WA

May 11-12: Doc Films - Chicago, IL
May 12: Korean Film Festival DC - Washington, DC
May 24: George Eastman Museum - Rochester, NY
May 31-Jun 2: Detroit Institute of the Arts - Detroit, MI

June 24: AFI Silver Theatre - Silver Springs, MD

Oct 11-12: Union Cinema - Milwaukee, WI

Festivals & Awards

Winner - Best Actor - Locarno International Film Festival
Official Selection - The New York Film Festival
Official Selection - Viennale


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