In this black-and-white mishmash of poetic moments and everyday occurrences, Yeri, the kind-hearted female owner of a makeshift bar in Seoul’s poverty-stricken Su-saek neighbourhood, is at the center of a group of otherwise exclusively male friends. There’s Ik-june, whose small crimes are contrasted by his sizeable ego; Jung-bum, a North-Korean defector with bipolar disorder; Yeri’s landlord Jong-bin, an epileptic with an affinity for sipping from milk cartons. All prying for the heart of their female companion, the three suitors unwittingly hinder themselves, preventing anyone from actually conquering her love. This does not faze them, however, as this dynamic quartet of lost souls is content in knowing that they, at the very least, all have each other.
Director Zhang Lu manages to give each of his eccentric characters the space and dedication to tell their individual stories, whilst simultaneously weaving a fascinating portrait on their unique group dynamic. The end result is a A QUIET DREAM: a poem about the lives of misunderstood people.