Burning hinges on the disappearance of a young woman, which suggests that the film should be classified as a mystery, the genre that most actively encourages viewers to interpret the evidence placed in front of them. But the ambiguity of human relationships—of what we see, of what we don’t see, and of what we choose to ignore—is the film’s biggest mystery.
Much of what I saw in 2018 reflected a related range of anxieties—about difference, catastrophe, isolation, belonging. Maybe that’s every year. Likely it’s too soon to tell. But among the things I saw, in a year of personal and political upheaval and ambivalence, these are the moments that solicited my attention most memorably.