top of page


For cinephiles in general, and Bong Joon-Ho fans in particular, Yellow Door is a nostalgic treat, but an overall lack of explanatory context mostly keeps you on the outside, looking in.

In the early nineties a group of young film lovers in Seoul gathered to watch movies, analyse and discuss them, forming a close-knit band of cinephile brothers and sisters. Among them was Parasite director Bong Joon-Ho, who goes on a trip down memory lane with his friends from those days in Netflix documentary Yellow Door: ‘90s Lo-fi Film Club.

The film is at its best when it recounts how the film club went about copying video cassettes, making critical assumptions about movie classics they sometimes never even saw and how they started experimenting with making films themselves, which allows the audience an intriguing look at Bong Joon-Ho’s very first, very unpolished stop-motion effort.

Yellow Door also is a prime example of the Rashomon effect, as every interviewee remembers certain anecdotes slightly differently: it neatly ties together all the different protagonists in editing and gives the documentary a smooth, entertaining rhythm.

Still, the picture remains an insular enigma for most of its runtime. Yellow Door might hint at the background of all the people who joined the film club, but it never bothers to delve deeper into their personalities or motives. The cultural and geopolitical context of South Korea in the nineties is also glossed over, making it even harder to ascertain the importance of the film club for its members.

So if you go into the documentary expecting serious insight into Bong Joon-Ho’s formative years, you’ll be slightly disappointed in Yellow Door, as it more closely resembles a nostalgic school reunion than an intimate look back that transcends mere cinephilia.

release: 2023

director: Lee Hyeok-Rae

starring: Bong Joon-Ho, Ahn Nae-Sang, Woo Hyeon, Lee Hyeok-Rae


bottom of page