Burning (2018) Movie Review, Cast and Plot Summary


Burning is a 2018 South Korean mystery drama film. It is directed by Lee Chang-dong. The Movie stars Yoo Ah-inSteven Yeun, and Jeon Jong-seo. This film is based on the short story “Barn Burning” by Haruki Murakami.

The movie was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Burning movie was also selected as the South Korean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.

Burning Movie Cast

  • Yoo Ah-in as Lee Jong-su
  • Steven Yeun as Ben
  • Jeon Jong-seo as Shin Hae-mi
  • Soo-Kyung Kim as Yeon-ju
  • Soo-Jeong Lee as Prosecutor
  • Seung-ho Choi as Lee Yong-seok
  • Bok-gi Min as Judge
  • Bong-ryeon Lee as Hae-mi’s Sister
  • Mi-Kyung Cha as Hae-mi’s Mom
  • Seong-Kun Mun as Lawyer
  • Hye-ra Ban as Jong-su’s Mom
  • Ja-Yeon Ok as Ja-yeon
  • Seok-Chan Jeon as Seok-chan
  • Joong-ok Lee as Patrolman
  • Wonhyeong Jang as Won-hyeong

Burning Movie Plot Summary

The movie follows Jong-su who is a part-time worker. He bumps into Hae-mi while delivering, Hae-mi is a girl who used to live in the same neighborhood as jong-su. Hae-mi told jong-su about her plan of going to Africa so she asks him to look after her cat while she is on a trip to Africa.

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When Hae-mi comes back from Africa she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met in Africa to Jong-su. One day, Ben visits Jong-su’s with Hae-mi and confesses his own secret hobby which was unknown to jong-su and Hae-mi. Later in the play, we found out what Ben was trying to tell hae-mi and jong-su.


At the end of the movie, Jong-su then stabs Ben several times, killing him. Jong-su then burns Ben’s body within Ben’s car set aflame before leaving. His reason for this is that he found out Ben killed Hae-mi

Burning Movie Overview

Directed byLee Chang-dong
Produced byOk Gwang-hee
Screenplay byOh Jung-mi
Lee Chang-dong
Based onBarn Burning
by Haruki Murakami
StarringYoo Ah-in
Steven Yeun
Jeon Jong-seo
Music byMowg
CinematographyHong Kyung-pyo
Edited byKim Hyeon
Kim Da-won
Pinehouse Film
Now Film
Distributed byCGV Arthouse
Release date
  • May 16, 2018 (Cannes)
  • May 17, 2018 (South Korea)
  • October 26, 2018 (United States)
Running time
148 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
Box officeUS$4.9 million