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Treeless Mountain: 3 of 5 stars

"Great" performances by very young children in movies are rare, but there are two tiny jewels at the heart of the Korean melodrama

Treeless Mountain

.

For

Treeless Mountain

, So Yong Kim (

In Between Days

) has crafted an intimate fable about two sisters (Hee-yeon Kim, Song-hee Kim) pretty much abandoned by their mother, left with an aunt with no nurturing skills while mom goes off to find their no-good dad.

They travel from Seoul to Auntie's small town and onward to the countryside, always fending for themselves no matter which adult is assigned to look after them. It's a touching but somewhat generic story rendered novel by its Korean setting.

Kim keeps her camera close to the kids and lets their faces tell the story, making this a subtitled film in which reading the subtitles isn't all that important. The pace is slow but the bullied, ignored and resourceful moppets make this a tender tale well worth watching.

Screening at

: 1 p.m. Sunday, March 29, Regal; 9:15 p.m. Monday, March 30, Regal.

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