Jinju is bad. She smokes, drinks, runs away from home, and has no qualms making her parents worry. Her mother and sister beg her to be a better student, sister, daughter; her beleaguered father expresses his concerns with his fists. Bad Friends is set in the 1990s in a South Korea torn between tradition and Western modernity and haunted by an air of generalized gloom. What unfolds is a story of female friendship, a Ferrante-esque connection formed through youthful excess, malaise, and struggle that stays with the young women into adulthood.