Steven Yeun on the Mysteries of ‘Burning,’ Korean Christianity, Nihilism, and ‘RoboCop’

Burning, director Lee Chang-dong’s long-awaited return to the cinema, is brimming with the Rashomon effect. The film will have you questioning what you see, and what you think you know. Many facts appear as objective in the film to justify a personal reading of the narrative. But to reduce Burning to its connective tissue is a disservice to the experience of shutting up, letting go, and enjoying the new work from the master filmmaker and his newest collaborator, Steven Yeun.

Yeun’s imprint is expanding beyond The Walking Dead into films like Okja, Sorry to Bother You, and now Burning. Through one lens, Yeun plays Ben, the cosmopolitan who burns down greenhouses for the thrill of it. Another take on Ben could be the sex-trafficking globalist. There’s more than a binary choice to understand Ben, like all people and all characters. However you interpret him, Ben is a nihilist with fuzzy motives.
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