The Handmaiden

A dynamic thriller full of twists and turns, intrigue, beauty and a captivating erotic atmosphere by Park Chan-wook, one of the most prominent South Korean directors of our time. The story of Sarah Waters' bestselling novel Fingersmith has been transformed into the Japanese-Korean realities of the 1930s.

South Korea 2016
  • Czech
145 min.
  • This film is available until 23. 2. 2026 in these territories: Czechia, Slovakia.

This period drama is set in the 1930s, when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule. A cunning con artist pretending to be a Japanese count plants the Korean pickpocket Sookee in the home of the wealthy Japanese lady Hideko by passing her off as a servant. Sookee’s job is to lay the groundwork for his plot to lure the lady of the house away from her overly protective uncle. He then plans to seduce her, have her declared insane, and rob her of her fortune. But the ambitious scam doesn’t take into account the unexpected passion that ignites between Sookee and Hideko. Renowned Korean director Park Chan-wook based his film on Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith, which was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. The sophisticated plot of the original has been adapted into a well-crafted film with an engaging style and excellent performances from the three lead actors. Appearing in the main roles are Kim Min-hee, Ha Jung-woo and Kim Tae-ri.

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Director: Park Chan-Wook
Based on: Sarah Waters
Screenplay: Jeong Seo-kyeong, Park Chan-wook
Cinematography: Chung-hoon Chung
Music: Yeong-wook Jo
Sound: Fabrizio Cheloni
Editing: Jae-Bum Kim, Kim Sang-beom
Production Design: Seong-hie Ryu
Producer: Park Chan-wook, Syd Lim
Co-production: Wonjo Jeong, Jong-Dae Kim, Suk-chan Yoon
Costumes: Sang-gyeong Jo
Cast: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jing-woo

British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)

2018 – Best Film Not in the English Language

Cannes Film Festival

2016 – Ryu Seong-hie (Vulcain Prize for the Technical Artist)

  • This film is available until 23. 2. 2026 in these territories: Czechia, Slovakia.