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Exciting Debuts at Five Flavours. Announcing First Competition Titles

14 September 2023
Hail to Hell, dir. Lim Oh-jeong

This year's program of the New Asian Cinema section includes two subversive comedies from South Korea - "Hail to Hell" and "A Wild Roomer," and a strong Indonesian accent – the drama "Autobiography." These three impressive debuts have already caused quite a stir in the international festival circuit. The Directors will come to Warsaw in November to meet with Five Flavours audiences!

Working on the competition section is always a challenge that comes with a strong sense of responsibility. How can we show the themes resonating throughout the cinemas of the continent and capture its heartbeat with just eleven films? The result of the many, often incredibly hard decisions, is a section filled with sharp portrayals of Asia, conveyed by auteurs who will surely keep on making waves in the industry. The Five Flavours audiences get a chance to discover them at the brink of their careers, and to talk about the films during Q&As and informal meetings after the screenings.

Joining us from South Korea will be Lim Oh-jeong, the director of the rebellious "Hail to Hell," and Lee Jeong-hong, the filmmaker behind the unique "A Wild Roomer." The films truly prove that cinema runs in Koreans' veins. Limited budgets or the lack of experience of the rookie crew were no obstacle. Apart from the insightful social observations, the films show some truly subversive comedic colors.

Straight from Indonesia, Makbul Mubarak will bring his "Autobiography" – a thick, claustrophobic psychodrama, and a reckoning with the sins of the Indonesian dictatorship, peeking into the darkest corners of the violent politics and local stories. This brave debut and the 2024 Indonesian Oscars entry, brought Mubarak, a former cinema critic, an award at last year's Venice IFF.

Hail to Hell

dir. Lim Oh-jeong
South Korea 2022, 109’
[cinema + online]

It's hard to say whether Na-mi and Sun-woo actually like each other. Bullied by their classmates, the two girls stick together, navigating the dull everyday life of the province hand in hand. When their plans of a joint suicide come to naught, they decide to target the source of their suffering and get revenge. The leader of the persecutions, Chae Rin, will have to pay for all the pain she caused. In the meantime, however, the head bully moved to Seoul, joined a deeply religious community, and seems to have crossed over to the light side. But the two mission-oriented protagonists quickly realize that something about the community seems off.

Lim's directorial debut takes no prisoners – it is a sharp, surprisingly dark comedy, and a merciless satire on the modern Korea.

A Wild Roomer

dir. Lee Jeong-hong
South Korea 2022, 136’
[cinema only]

Gi-hong works as a construction carpenter. He lives from contract to contract, inhabiting a big, mostly empty house in the suburbs, and befriending its owner and his wife. One day, the three of them discover a strange dent in the roof of Gi-hong's car. Gi-hong launches a private investigation to get to the bottom of the case. The answer to the mystery introduces a new character that will shake the foundations of the lives of Gi-hong and those around him.

The mature debut, masterfully focused on the awkwardness of daily human interactions, received two awards at the Busan IFF, fueling the hopes of the director's prompt return to the film set.


dir. Makbul Mubarak
Indonesia, France, Germany, Poland, Singapore, Phillippines, Qatar 2022, 115’
[cinema + online]

In a small Indonesian town, Rakib looks after an empty villa belonging to the retired general Purna. When the General returns home to launch his mayoral election campaign, he and the young man bond. The relationship between the callow youngster and a mature man, corroded by cynicism and the sense of impunity, grows deeper, giving rise to an unexpected spiral of violence.

"Autobiography" is a brave voice in the cinema of a country whose unprocessed past hangs in the air like thick smog, poisoning all aspects of the nation's life. The production of the film wouldn't be possible without the support from several countries, including Poland – the author of the film's stunning cinematography is Wojciech Staroń.

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