The growth of Korean lesbian movies strikes a deep chord with the feelings and aesthetics that lesbian viewers cherish. Viewers have been excited by these films because of their skillful handling of stories and emotional depth.
With films such as the ground-breaking “Memento Mori” in 1999 and more recent masterpieces like “The Handmaiden,” “Our Love Story,” and “Moonlit Winter,” Korean WLW (Women Loving Women) cinema has gained a unique place in the lesbian community worldwide and has continuously received awards and recognition.
These films in the Korean lesbian movies list are praised for their distinct appeal and capacity to deeply engage viewers.I’ve also compiled a list of Korean lesbian drama series. If you’re interested, feel free to check it out.
Most Korean lesbian movies can be watched online on YouTube, and the corresponding viewing addresses can be found in the article. If you want to preview all the movie trailers at once, then the following collection will be very suitable for you.
1. Green Night (2023)
Compared to “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” where blue stands for freedom, this movie offers a striking contrast. The predominant color in this instance is a ghastly green, which stands for horror, gloom, and disgusting dirt.
The story turns from themes of beauty and liberty to ones of abuse, disobedience, and degradation. It emphasizes a journey towards self-empowerment without pleading with others for forgiveness, and it implies that the way out starts with rejecting the fleeting sweetness of chewing gum.
This reading demonstrates a significant shift in both character development and thematic investigation.
The way domestic abuse is handled in the film’s final third makes for a genuinely dramatic and unique viewing experience.
It deviates from the conventional representation by deftly combining audiovisual and visual components to thoroughly submerge the viewer in the anxiety that women endure.
The Korean lesbian movie emphasizes the instability and anxiety inherent in the uncertain lives of women by using shaky handheld camera methods against the backdrop of an unorganized and bizarre urban cityscape, most likely Seoul.
A deep, dark, and exquisite metaphor for women’s identity is provided by the recurrent motif of a murky green color, which can take many different forms, such as green jellyfish, green hair, green firework tattoos, and green nail polish. The metaphor of the caged dog is very moving and insightful.
However, the first part of the movie could come across as a little cliche, and the same-sex plot seems kind of unnecessary—as if the movie could manage without it. There is a sense that this portion of the story is inserted just to be included, without any real emotional underpinning.
The lead role of Jin Xia is played by the well-known Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who previously appeared in X-Men 3 as the mutant Blink.
She later disappeared from the public eye due to a purported tax probe, but this time she took up the task of playing lesbian roles.
2. The Summer (2023)
Set in the late 1990s and early 2000s, this unusual Korean lesbian movie tells the story of an animated love story about girls.
Capturing the essence of a teenage romance, it follows them from middle school through university.
A genuine and honest portrayal of the naivety and intensity of adolescent love, the story is expertly crafted, showcasing both the charming beginnings and moving endings of their relationships.
The Korean lesbian movie focuses on interpersonal relationships while examining intense, sincere feelings that cut beyond gender. It evokes feelings of melancholy and reflection in viewers, similar to the poignancy of “Call Me by Your Name.”
The story touchingly notes that although relationships are hampered by harsh realities and life’s limitations, the essence of love experienced is sincere and pure.
3. Take Me Home (2020)
The Korean lesbian movie makes the audience feel helpless while projecting a realistic and serene atmosphere. Despite their shared desire for a family, the protagonists ultimately decide to part ways.
But there is some optimism at the end: Yeon starts painting again, the teacher’s health gets better, and Su-min adapts to her new life, which is marked by a birthday celebration.
This ending suggests a future where they might find a sense of home, echoing the longing and optimism in the film’s title, “Take Me Home.”
4. Moonlit Winter (2019)
The subtle depiction of intense feelings in homosexual relationships is skillfully done in this movie.
The Korean lesbian movie addresses themes of loneliness and connection, focusing on four women: Yoon-hee and Shin-chun in Korea, and Jun and her aunt in Otaru, Japan.
Because of Shin-chun’s bond in particular, the story stays away from sadness even though there is a general sense of loneliness. The theme of seclusion is emphasized by the snowy Otaru environment.
The complex relationship between Yoon-hee and Jun is revealed throughout the movie, leading to a moving epiphany. The performances are remarkable, particularly Kim Hee-ae’s, and Shin-chun’s resilient optimism gives the narrative a hopeful dimension.
5. Between the Seasons (2019)
This low-budget movie masterfully conveys complex yet muted feelings. It shows a pretty older sister who falls in love with a lively and charming high school student, representing the newness of a cherry blossom.
But the older sister, with her heart, reflecting an unending winter, stands for a darker, distinct season.
This tragic element gives the movie a distinct look and effectively captures the complicated and frequently depressing aspects of life.
The picture adeptly conveys the complex feelings, tenacity, and inner battles faced by East Asian women.
It deftly illustrates how the characters grow close and attached to one another before things spiral out of control and need self-denial.
Some of the most moving phrases in this emotional trip are “I don’t need you” and “If I get any closer, I won’t be able to leave you, and I don’t want that.”
Deep feelings are evoked by the story, especially at intimate times, and it leaves a strong imprint that is further strengthened by an exceptional soundtrack.
6. Our Love Story (2016)
This Korean lesbian movie departs from the typical beauty-centric image that is frequently found in Korean motion pictures.
The main character, who looks like they haven’t been changed in any way, is shown in a way that is relatable and real, like looking at a friend’s life through a casual view.
With its realistic portrayal of the intricacies of both heterosexual and homosexual relationships, the story blends tender and poignant moments to represent a profound comprehension of love.
Lesbian films typically have more visually appealing romance sequences and a depth of emotional expression, thus anyone interested in LGBTQ+ themes will find the film especially compelling.
7. The Handmaiden (2016)
The movie deftly avoids vulgarity by fusing explicit elements like violence, sensuality, and bizarre visuals.
An engrossing, even hypnotic environment is created by its technical mastery in sound design, wardrobe, lighting, and cinematography.
The protagonist’s attraction is presented as being so powerfully alluring that it has the power to change people’s lives.
A distinctive cinematic experience that both challenges and captivates the spectator is produced by this delicate balancing act between artistic brilliance and explicitness.
If I could sleep with Ms. Hideko for one night, I think I’d rather spend the rest of my life in a mental hospital.
8. A Girl at My Door (2014)
“To-Xi”, produced by Lee Chang-dong, is Jung July’s first movie as a director. It has strong female overtones, similar to Unni Lecomte’s “Traveler.”
Set in a world where most Korean movies are about crime, it adds a unique kindness. The movie shows the real, unresolved worry in a beautiful beach town.
Bae Doona and Kim Sae-ron give powerful performances, showing a journey of self-discovery.
People get the wrong idea about how much a woman police officer cares for a young girl, and the story looks at the search for love in a world full of prejudice. But the ending seems less likely to be true.
I really like Bae Doo-na’s acting style. It’s so natural and doesn’t leave any technical marks that you can’t help but get caught up in the drama when she’s in charge. Kingdom, sense8, Broker, and the new movie Rebel Moon are the movies she’s been in.
9. Life Is Peachy (2010)
The movie is acclaimed for its unique viewpoint and presentation, which sets it apart from other same-sex-themed films while maintaining a very Japanese aesthetic.
The scenes between the characters in the movie are quite emotional, and actress Kim Hyo-jin’s beauty stands out in particular.
The Korean lesbian movie explores the complex nature of feelings in a romantic setting, such as “embarrassment.”
It questions whether such feelings stem from the sorrow of unrequited deep love or from comforting self-delusions of happiness despite separation.
Yoon Ji-Yoo’s statement, “When she eats alone, she loves her the most,” reveals a contradiction in love: although it should lead to happiness for both parties, love frequently results in significant personal development, demonstrating its paradoxical ability to both elevate and transform people.
10. The Secret Garden (2010)
Would you disclose a secret crush or keep it a secret indefinitely?
At some point, everyone has harbored a secret admiration for someone who, although not the most attractive or ideal, has the ability to make our years shine brightly.
We might feel the purest kind of affection in our innocent childhood while they are around.
11. Hellcats (2008)
Korean lesbian movies frequently have a profound emotional impact because they strike a balance between a realistic setting and self-reflection.
This deft use of storytelling and emotional nuance implies that real growth comes from accepting one’s innate nature rather than totally uprooting it.
This 2008 East Asian comedy, forward-thinking for its time, dives into the investigation of sexual identity among youngsters and explores the issues middle-aged women experience with age and cultural expectations.
The protagonist of the story, torn between two men, comes to the liberating insight that her fulfillment and value are independent of marriage or love. This story offers a thoughtful and progressive perspective on women’s identities and roles in society.
12. Taekwon Girl (2002)
Park Chan-wook, the same filmmaker of the popular lesbian film “The Handmaiden” (2014), wrote the screenplay for this film.
In the film, a bisexual woman who is unable to conceive gives birth to her husband’s son, who grows up and later weds his partner who is gay.
In the course of the story, the son matures and marries his homosexual lover. Complex themes of sexuality, interpersonal relationships, and the intricacies of nontraditional family arrangements are all interwoven in this tale.
13. Lover’s Concerto (2002)
Given that both girls are diagnosed with cancer at the same time, the film contains the typical melancholy of Korean cinema.
Maybe this is why Korean dramas are so unique: their blissful triad past serves as a prelude to a tragic conclusion.
Son Ye-jin and if love has a heavenly will and is still a cup of characters, then Cha Tae-hyun also appeared very well in the yet light comedy while still emphasizing the moment’s melancholy expression.
In fact, Lee Eun-joo committed suicide a few years later.
14. Memento Mori (1999)
The material and thematic expression of this second entry in the female high school movie series are significantly different from those of the first.
Lesbian themes are introduced, and they not only make their debut in this second section but also develop into a major theme throughout the entire series, marking a substantial shift.
This change is a reflection of a wider investigation into the genre’s variety of storylines and relationships.
My first exposure to yuri (female-female romance) themes came from the “Female High School Ghost Story” series, of which “Exchange Diary” was my best lesbian Korean movie.
Years have passed since I last read it again, but many of the distinct aspects of adolescence it captured—the sensitivity, melancholy, rawness, and gore—remain clear in my memory.
The series was memorable and cherished because of scenes like Ruoxian watching Shuyun’s bare legs while she ran, their lighthearted fights on the rooftop at dusk, Ruoxian breaking the piano strings so Shuyun could hear the music, their passionate kiss in the storage room, the shocking discovery of Ruoxian’s bloody head in a locker after her death, the menacing bell signaling Shuyun’s impending doom, and their shared diary full of Showa Era aesthetics.
With any luck, this article will serve as a resource for Korean lesbian movies; in the meanwhile, I hope you enjoy these fourteen films. If you know of any others, please share them in the comments.
Loving this evolution! If you’re into my articles, do me a solid and share them on your social media. Let’s spread the word and get these lesbian romance stories out there!