Abigail Harm (2013): Starring Amanda Plummer

Abigail Harm is helmed by Lee Isaac Chung, the filmmaker of Munyurangabo, a film that made its debut in Un Certain Regard at Cannes, won the Grand Jury Prize at AFI Fest, and was selected for New Directors/New Films.

The picture will open August 30, 2013 at the QUAD cinema in NYC.

The film’s star is Amanda Plummer (currently performing Off Broadway in Tennesee Williams’ The Two-Character Play). The director updates a Korean folktale in an idiosyncratic yet resonant way, based on a loose narrative that he had scripted himself.

Plummer plays the titular role, a woman who lives at the edge of the city, where no one can see her. While she keeps her eyes turned away, secretly she watches, listens, and hopes. But hope for what?

We soon learn that her father is dying, but she can’t face him. Abigail dreams of seeing him well again. She remembers a story about a woodcutter who saves the life of a deer and is granted a wish. He wishes for a companion. One evening an unknown man appears in her apartment, and she hides him.

He tells her of a strange creature: it comes to earth, removes its robe, and bathes in the water. If you hide its robe, it follows you home; if you care for it, it loves you; and as long as you keep its robe, it will never leave you.

Abigail finds this creature, and suddenly her life in the city is changed, though she still finds it difficult to believe that she could have such a companion, one who will never leave her.

Filmmaker’s Comments

After Eugene Suen, who produced the film, introduced me to Amanda Plummer a few years ago, we began corresponding about possible ways to collaborate on a project. Amanda is one of the most gifted actresses working today, so I knew that directing her would be an adventure. I searched for stories that could provide a space and stage for her to perform freely, and we tossed around a number of story ideas, finally connecting on an old Korean folktale that I read as a child and never forgot: a woodcutter captures a heavenly creature on earth by stealing her robe. With Amanda free to run in this role of ‘the woodcutter,’ I wanted to contrast the fantastic nature of the story with a more realistic approach to highlight the character’s raw emotions; as Abigail Harm descends further into love, the film grows more documentary in approach, until the end, when the character must confront reality itself.

Credits

Written by Samuel Gray Anderson and Lee Isaac Chung
Produced by Eugene Suen, Samuel Gray Anderson and Pablo Thomas
Running time:80 Minutes

About Lee Isaac Chung

Lee Isaac Chung’s first film, Munyurangabo, the first film made entirely in the Kinyarwanda language, premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival to great acclaim and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 AFI Fest. The film also showed at Toronto International Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, New Directors New Films, and International Film Festival Rotterdam, and has since received international theatrical distribution.

Chung’s second film, Lucky Life, was developed at the CinĂ©fondation L’Atelier program at the Cannes Film Festival, premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, and showed at Torino Film Festival, Moscow International Film Festival, International Film Festival Bratislava, and Museum of Modern Art PS1 in New York. It is distributed in the USA by Film Movement.

About Amanda Plummer

Amanda Plummer is a multiple Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress. She is the star of such films as Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction where she wowed as the unforgettable “Honey Bunny”, Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King, and Michael Winterbottom’s Butterfly Kiss. She received a Tony Award for her performance in the landmark Broadway production of Agnes of God. She has won three Emmy Awards for her performances on American television and has been nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA (The Fisher King). She can currently be seen Off Broadway in Tennessee Williams’s The Two-Character Play, in a performance that the New York Times called “A sensational return to the New York stage.” This November she will appear in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.