So-young, at 65 years old, is a “Bacchus Lady” or bagkaseu halmeoni – a term given to elderly women who sell a popular South Korean energy drink known as Bacchus and who offer sexual services on the side. Once a prostitute on a U.S. military base, she now solicits clients in parks in Seoul, where old men gather. Over the years, So-young has formed a patchwork family, including her transgender neighbour and a one-legged man. Joining this ensemble is young Min-ho, who gets separated from his Filipino mother in the same clinic where So-young gets her regular check-ups. Together, they make the best out of their situation, until So-young begins to receive unusual requests from her aging clientele.
Featuring the venerable Youn Yuh-jung as So-young, The Bacchus Lady is a darkly humorous yet unflinching look at South Korea’s aging and impoverished population, whose members – despite less-than-fortunate circumstances – live dignified lives that go far beyond simply surviving.