Yoon Ga-eun‘s Korean film The World of Us (2016) is a masterly work about childhood bullying and discontent. Sun (Choi Soo-in) is a lonely young girl non-physically bullied by her schoolmates. A new girl, Ji-ah (Hye-in Seol), enrolls in the school and Sun is clearly motivated to make friends with her, which she does. Things go swimmingly between them until Ji-ah gets chummy with a girl more esteemed than Sun and “learns” to dismiss Sun. But this precedes Ji-ah herself becoming unpopular, and yet the lass persists in taking jabs at Sun—with no glee whatsoever.

Yoon is a truly fine writer and director. The children are drawn knowingly, truthfully, memorably, fleshed out by a palatable cast. The World of Us—of Sun and Ji-ah—turns out to be the WORLD, with its bullying, harshness and sadness, as well as pleasure. The film hopes for at least some of the pleasure to be consistent.

(In Korean with English subtitles. Available on Tubi and Prime Video)