Skip to main content
Peppermint Candy film image

Peppermint Candy


This event has passed

Backtracking from his suicide as a broken and depressed man, the film recounts the life of Yong-ho, from his tragic demise to his innocent youth, in reverse order. In between, he is a student, a soldier, a police officer and eventually an investor who loses a small fortune in the stock market. The second film by Lee Chang-dong (Burning; Poetry) this 1999 movie is recognized as one of the key texts in contemporary Korean cinema.

Watching this film for the first time at the tender age of 13, I was equally riveted and haunted by the sights and sounds of this complex human drama. I had never seen anyone on-screen or in real life express the types of emotions that are on display in this film. Until that time, I thought movies were simply meant to be a form of entertainment, but this film opened my eyes to the power that cinema can have. The story is told chronologically backwards, tracing the key moments in a troubled man’s life as well as the key moments of the country’s recent history; sort of like Forrest Gump, but NOTHING like Forrest Gump. The lead performance by Sol Kyung-gu is haunting, beautiful, and devastating. This is the single most important and impactful film of my upbringing and I believe is an essential watch for anyone interested in Korea.
Anthony Shim


October 3 & 7: Introduced by Leading Lights guest programmer Anthony Shim


Sol Kyung-gu, Moon So-ri, Kim Yeo-jin, Se-beom Park, Suh Jung

Country of Origin

South Korea




Leading Lights


In Korean with English subtitles

129 min
Award Winners Drama

Book Tickets

This event has passed.



Jae-Young Jeon, Gye-Nnam Myeong, Makoto Ueda


Lee Chang-dong


Hyung-Gu Kim


Hyun Kim

Original Music

Jaejin Lee

Art Director

Il-hyun Park


Lee Chang-dong headshot

Lee Chang-dong

Lee Chang-Dong became a sensation both in Korea and abroad with his 1997 debut feature Green Fish. Lee Chang-Dong’s first film Green Fish (1997) was a film about space in its depiction of the space of a planned city that replaced farming land. Peppermint Candy is a film about time in its portrayal of a person’s life as seen through both the destructive and redemptive forces of time. Peppermint Candy is his second feature.

Filmography: Green Fish (1997); Oasis (2002); Secret Sunshine (2007); Burning (2018)

Missing VIFF? Check out what's playing at the VIFF Centre

Les Filles du Roi

Corey Payette's rousing microbudget musical (adapted from the Urban Ink stage production he cowrote with Julie McIsaac) chronicles the friendship between a seventeenth century French woman and a Mohawk trader and his sister.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre


Yintah -- land -- is at issue in this fierce front line doc about the resistance of the Witsuwit'en nation to the Coastal Gaslink pipeline over the course of a decade.

VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre


When Link discovers that his Mi’kmaw mother may still be alive, he and his half-brother finally have purpose. On the road to Mi’kma’ki, they pick up a drifter who represents Link’s best chance of locating his mom and accepting his Two-Spirit nature.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

Red Fever

From the filmmakers who gave us Reel Injun and Rumble, Red Fever digs into the many ways the Indigenous peoples of this land have left their mark on the culture we all share, whether in the fields of fashion, sport, politics or the environment.

VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

Bones of Crows

Vancouver-born Dene/Métis writer-director Marie Clements lays out a hard history of Indigenous resilience in this urgent, harrowing epic, spanning most of the 20th century; the story of a Cree woman from childhood, through residential school, WWII, and beyond.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

Hey Viktor!

25 years after the success of the iconic film Smoke Signals, a disheveled former child actor decides to create a sequel to relive his fame. This mockumentary follows him on the chaotic uphill journey to do whatever it takes to make it big again.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre