An exception within the still roughly circumscribed realm of Asian-American narrative cinema, So Young Kim’s lovely debut succeeds in blending cultural specificity with generic humanity for a quietly revelatory portrait. As simplistic as that sounds, few other representations of Asian Americans—Eric Byler’s Charlotte Sometimes comes to mind, along with (yes, that’s right) Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle—manage to acknowledge both difference and similarity at once. In Between Days takes a matter-of-fact approach in its description of a newly landed Korean immigrant and in neither ignoring nor belaboring the issue of race transcends it to a universal realm. Though it may not trumpet itself as a groundbreaking “event” along the lines of the flashier but emptier Better Luck Tomorrow, make no mistake: In Between Days is an original. But despite its glowing notices from Sundance 2006 and numerous “Best Undistributed” mentions on year-end lists, it languished for so long without distribution that I feared it might never see the dark of a cinema. Finally, thankfully, picked up by Kino and programmed by the IFC Center in New York, it finds theatrical release this week.
Click here to read the rest of Kristi Mitsuda’s review of In Between Days.