What if the person who made you fall in love was merely a dream? When you wake up, will you remember her?
The award-winning short film “Sipjangsaeng” features Yu Eden and Sohn Su Yun and is helmed by Jung Jae Yon, which both won and received nominations at several film festivals in 2021–2022. The story depicts Eun-young, who is reserved, meeting Jay, who is gregarious and vibrant in her drawing class. Not only does Jay recognize Eun-young’s artistic ability, but she extends an invitation to her to her hidden sanctuary so that they can play in an isolated world. One day, Eun-young is unable to locate Jay, and the other pupils don’t appear to even be aware of his identity.
WARNING: Spoiler alert! Read at your own risk.
The film opens with Eun Young daydreaming in her art class. When the bell rings, she comes back to her senses but still can’t figure out what to draw. After class. Her classmate came to her and gave her a drink. She sat down beside her and took a look at her drawing. She praises her work and tells her that she notices that she always works overtime and that going to a big university will be easy for her. Eun Young asked for her name, and she answered ‘Jay’. The latter told her that she knew her name. Jay continuously praises her work, while Eun Yong can’t help but look at her. The latter noticed it, so she asked her if she had something to tell her, but before Eun Young answered, her phone rang.
After having another daydream, Eun Young awoke to find herself seated on the school stairs as Jay rushed into her. Before she can respond, Jay pulls her and takes her into a dimly lit room. The latter asks her if the principal scolded her. When the room filled with light from Jay’s lit candles, Eun Young was speechless to see so much art stuff. She referred to the spot as her “cave,” a secret location, as Jay told her. She responds, “Seven years,” when Eun Young asks how long she’s been there. Jay told her in a serious tone that she shouldn’t take the principal’s words seriously. She had tried it previously, but it had not helped.
In that cave, Jay told her she had a radio. A girl in their class confided in a fellow student about an unusual dream she experienced. Although she is aware that it isn’t real, it is quite realistic. Two girls were present in her fantasies. She mentioned that one of them uses a certain easel. In her drawing, she depicted a female without a face but with an odd resemblance to the other girl from the dream. A voice calling her name over the radio startled the girl and prevented her from looking at the painting. Jay noticed that Eun Young was clutching a bottle of medicine, and she was afraid, so she took it from her and left.
Jay unexpectedly contacted Eun Young in the art room, asking her to meet her at the beach to watch fireworks. However, she was taken aback when the latter led her to the rooftop. They lit a firecracker and enjoyed the fireworks show. That was when Eun Young felt most alive. She couldn’t resist hugging Jay, and that evening, the two consoled one another. Eun Young sits in front of a bonfire with her head resting on Jay’s shoulder. Jay looks out to sea as though she’s seen something unusual. A woman is dancing beneath a red light in Eun Young’s dream, and as she pauses, the word “WAKE” is inscribed on her lips.