Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Berlin 2009 (Forum)

At the heart of this Korean film are two young children, abandoned by their Mother, and deposited with their alcoholic aunt.  They are left to fend for themselves in a world that overlooks their vulnerability. By telling the tale from the children’s perspective Treeless Mountain skilfully illuminates the effects of parental absence, abdication of responsibility and economic marginalisation. This is well balanced by the understated depiction of the gentle care of an aged grandmother, firmly earthed in the natural world, who gives them a most precious commodity: her time.