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Parasites, the Korean section of the 14th Five Flavours

5 days ago

The new Korean cinema surprises with its brilliant diagnoses of present-day realities and its remarkable form. We reveal the first titles of the festival section called " Parasites", in which you will find intelligent humour, bitter comments and a sober perspective on the challenges of today's world! 

"Parasites" section is inspired by Bong Joon-ho's film, the greatest Korean success in the history of cinema

Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite" delighted audiences and critics all over the world, speaking out loud on what western mainstream cinema is afraid of touching. Social inequalities, absurdities of capitalism, economy based on generating divisions - that does not sound like topics for the blockbuster. Yet, it turned out that viewers appreciated a fresh perspective on issues they face on a daily basis. However, black humour and perverse way of telling the story is not exclusive for Bong. Korean cinema is widely recognised for its original plays with film conventions and combining forms that seemingly do not match. The smooth transition from innocent satire to deadly seriousness, insightful diagnosis mixed with lightness of the story, and most of all willingness to uncompromisingly show the hardships of life in today's world: all this can be found in the films of the young generation of Korean filmmakers. 

Inspired by Bong's Palme d'Or and Oscar-winning hit, the section “Parasites” will present stories of people whose existence is an opposite of life's success and who are pushed to the most despicable positions by the logic of economics. It will also ask if rising up after hitting rock bottom is worth the greatest sacrifices - and whether the world is really open to everyone? 

One of the protagonists of our section will be Miso - a musician who earns her living by cleaning flats. Her greatest pleasure in life is alcohol and cigarettes: when the government raises excise duty on these products, the woman, wanting to preserve her rituals at all costs, decides to forgo payment of rent and starts to crash at closer and further friends’ places. "Microhabitat", directed by Jeon Go-woon and following Miso's struggle with fate is a drama full of absurdities, which became a festival hit all over the world. The seemingly surreal starting point turned out to be a perfect excuse to show a wide cross-section of Korean society and ask questions about priorities in life. 

The fight against reality (this time literally) is also a theme of Ko Bong-soo's "Loser's Adventure", which tells the story of three boys entering adulthood who decide to resuscitate the local training hall and prepare for wrestling competition. The director is one of the most nonchalant individualists of Korean cinema, and his view on life of urban suburbs is an acutely funny story about the desperate need for success, the definitions of masculinity and the fight for a better tomorrow.

The question of life's achievements is also raised by the title figure of "Lucky Chan-sil" - a film producer who has subordinated her entire career to a single filmmaker. After his unexpected departure, she realizes that by devoting all her effort and personal life, she worked exclusively for his name. Industry contacts are suspiciously silent, offers of new productions are not coming in, and professional prestige is not enough to pay the rent. In addition, although there is finally time to go on a date with someone, there are no candidates on the horizon. The bittersweet story, written with lightness and at the same time an extraordinary psychological sensitivity, is the directorial debut of Kim Cho-hee, known in the festival circle as the person behind the production of Hong Sang-soo films.One can therefore expect that in her comedy there is a bitter grain of truth about working in the world of artistic cinema.

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© Fundacja Sztuki Arteria
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