Young Jin-ah, a North Korean refugee, has completed her social adjustment training in South Korea, but she still feels lost in her small studio in Seoul. Her main objective is to earn enough money to get her father from China to South Korea. So she picks up any job she can find. She lands a cleaning gig at a boxing gym and soon becomes fascinated by the boxing sport. Her enthusiasm does not go unnoticed: Tae-soo, the gym director’s assistant, recognizes her potential and urges her to take up the sport herself. She remains hesitant, but when her money troubles increase after an incident, she decides to rise to the challenge.
Fighter is not a film about a sports talent eventually reaching the top, as the cliché would have it, but rather a character study of a woman, excellently played by Lim Seong-mi, for whom keeping her head up is a daily struggle in itself.
Jéro Yun (1980, South Korea) studied art, photography and film in France. His short documentary Promesse won the Grand Prize at the Asiana International Short Film Festival; his feature documentary Mrs. B. A North Korean Woman was awarded in Moscow and Zurich. His short Hitchhiker screened in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, and his debut feature Beautiful Days opened the 2018 Busan International Film Festival.