Movies Like Il Mare (2000)

Staff & contributors

Chasing the feel of watching Il Mare ? Here are the movies we recommend you watch right after.

While more people are familiar with its US adaptation, Il Mare is far more striking and emotionally resonant. The Korean romance, separated by timelines, depicts two lonely people who lived in the same seaside residence. They form a bond through the titular house’s mailbox, by sharing letters, voice recorders, and suggestions to deal with loneliness. As they receive each other’s messages, the film slowly reveals the reason for their loneliness– that they’ve been left behind. Matched with shots of creeping urbanization, migration, and the Y2K scare, Il Mare understands modern isolation, but it also underscores how solitude helps us connect with other people.

With more and more young people moving to the city for jobs, there’s a certain beauty in the countryside that is being missed out. The Road Home is a simple and straightforward love story, one that is mostly composed of Zhang Ziyi as a country girl stealing glances at the handsome city boy who’s come to teach in the village, but there’s a certain magic in the way director Zhang Yimou depicts the rural traditions of the village, the charming and distinct rhythms of life that continues to this day. While the film glosses over the reasons for Luo’s temporary departure, which some reviewers speculate is due to China’s then Anti-Rightist campaign, The Road Home beautifully depicts the way love can bloom despite these troubles, and how this love can shift the lives of an entire town.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Li Bin, Sun Honglei, Yulian Zhao, Zhang Ziyi, Zheng Hao

Director: Zhang Yimou