Breathless marks the impressive directorial debut of Yang Ik-jun, who also served as the film’s screenwriter, producer, and star. Song-hoon is a foul-mouthed extortionist and enforcer for local gangster Man-shik. Having grown up with a violent father who was responsible for the deaths of his mother and sister, Song-hoon now directs his own seemingly limitless store of violence toward enemies and subordinates alike. Things begin to change when he meets a similarly foulmouthed schoolgirl, Han Yeon-heui. Regularly victimized by her mentally ill father and thuggish brother, she’s not scared by Song-hoon's hard exterior. Slowly but surely, an unlikely bond develops between the two. But when Yeon-heui's brother joins Man-shik’s gang without his sister’s knowledge, it becomes clear that the crushing brutality of their environment may not allow the fragile emotional connection between them to survive. This often-brutal look at cyclical violence and how love might just redeem a lost soul is a semi-autobiographical story inspired by the director’s family and friends.