Shin Dongseok gained recognition with his short films Stirring Ripple (2005) and Gahee & B.H. (2006). His feature debut, Last Child (2017), screened to critical acclaim at numerous film festivals, including in the New Currents at Busan International Film Festival 2017, and the Forum at Berlin International Film Festival 2018.
Je Jeongju graduated from the Korean National University of Arts (K-ARTS), where she studied filmmaking. She has produced a number of films, including Dear Dolphin (Kang Jin-a, 2013), Last Child (Shin Dongseok, 2017), and Adulthood (Kim In-seon, 2018).
Production company ATO’s filmography includes The World of Us (Yoon Ga-eun, 2016), Yongsoon (Shin Joon, 2016), Home (Kim Jongwoo, 2017), Last Child (Shin Dongseok, 2017), and The House of Us (Yoon Ga-eun, 2019). ATO Co. Ltd. has also distributed a number of short films, including Sprout (Yoon Ga-eun, 2013), and the company’s sixth feature film, More Than Family (Choi Ha-na, 2020), is about to be released.
Jaeyoung, an ordinary office worker who is writing a novel in his spare time, is asked by his mother, Eunhyang, to care for her after she is diagnosed with cancer. Eunhyang, a dating agency consultant and devoted Christian, as well as a shrewd financial technology expert, seems like a good friend to her son, but in truth, it doesn’t sit well with Jaeyoung that she refuses to acknowledge his sexual identity. While nursing his mother as she undergoes chemotherapy, he takes a community education philosophy course, where he falls in love with the attractive Hyunjun and incorporates this into the novel he is writing. Unfortunately, he realizes Hyunjun cannot fully commit to him, as he wavers between his political convictions and his sexual identity. As her condition deteriorates, Eunhyang blames her misfortune on her son’s sexual identity. Finally, Jaeyoung makes the difficult decision to introduce Hyunjun to his mother, but on the day that they are supposed to meet, Hyunjun not only doesn’t turn up, but suddenly announces he is leaving Jaeyoung. Four years later, Jaeyoung discovers a book, a love story dealing with the last moments of his relationship with Hyunjun, in his mailbox. Confused by this sudden surprise from the very person who hurt him so badly, he sets out to find Hyunjun and get some answers.
The general idea of ‘love’ seems to push us further away from love itself. It is only when we break down the false standards of ‘normality’ defining the idea of love and acknowledge our inner ‘queerness’ that we can perhaps step closer to the true meaning of love. A Bite of the Cosmos deals with a man tormented between his mother’s refusal to accept his sexual identity and his lover’s denial of his own queerness. The film explores the clashes in reality caused by conflicts in religion, conviction and generation gaps through these three characters, and such microscopic observations on relationships and emotions offer insights into more macroscopic social issues. Given that in any social and political victory of the people, the LGBTQIA have been discriminated against and excluded from sharing these communal successes, this film is not an attempt to re-invite them back into this arena, but to seek alternative possibilities in a new stage that promotes the idea of an ‘inherent queerness’ in all of us.