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Women of Korea: The first Five Flavours At Home film cycle starts in one week!

31 March 2021

From April 8 till May 19, the Five Flavours website will host a unique film program devoted to the heroines of contemporary Korean cinema. At the live meeting, we present the lineup of the event and talk about the phenomenon of this rapidly growing cinema. We also remind everyone how the Five Flavours VOD platform works and invite you join us in watching Asian cinema all year long!

For a few years now, film critics have been writing about the new wave of female filmmakers in contemporary Korean cinema. In the cycle, we present three intriguing debuts of female directors, fresh voices talking about the problems of the new generation in completely new ways.

The first Five Flavours At Home program is a reaction to the enormous interest in new Korean cinema, which still surprises and excites critics all around the world. "Women of Korea" is a set of films with unique, charismatic female protagonists who go through life on their own terms, facing the challenges of the modern world, and choosing surprising ways to change their fates.

The program includes the premiere of "Our Body" (dir. Han Ka-ram), a story of a young woman for whom running becomes a way to overcome life impasse and social constrains. The brilliant debut of the director, who has a background in social studies, is a precisely-led story which uses a few simple scenes to reveal very complex processes determining the life choices of modern Korean women. The fascinating role of the leading actress, Choi Hee-seo, brought her an award at the festival in Busan, and the Korean critics hailed the young auteur's film as one of the most important productions of 2019.

"Microhabitat," another acting gem, was among the films ranked highest by the 14th Five Flavours audience. Miso, the heroine of this surprising production, played by Som E, is an original whose life defies middle-class conventions. Instead of following the Korean success story, she chooses the life of an urban nomad, inhabiting the couches of friends and acquaintances. Her journey is a chance to experience various models of life in today's Seoul – a city that inspires and seduces, but also swipes lots of its problems under the (designer) rug.

One of the things Miso simply cannot give up is good whiskey. She shares her fondness for alcohol with Min-jung, whose complicated emotional life became the center of "Yourself and Yours." The film is directed by one of the most recognizable Korean auteurs, Hong Sang-soo, famous for stories filled with never-ending conversations, in which yet another bottle of soju opens up the debates about relationships, mistakes made, and creative obsessions. As a heroine, Min-jung far from perfect. She enmeshes her partners – and the viewers – in a game of endless excuses and narrative turns, constantly walking the fine line between the truth and the lie.

The problem of the lack of trust in interpersonal relations is the starting point for Yi-Ok-seop, director and writer of "Maggie." Her story, filled with sugary colors and original humor (which, more often than not, sticks in one's throat) is a portrait of a young nurse, a Korean Millennial. Here, the deadly serious and the trifle meet on equal grounds, and life in the modern world is filled with so many absurds that no one is surprised by craters popping out in the city, or the presence of a certain talkative catfish.

Korean cinema is famous for its ingenious action films – our program would not be complete without one. "Man on High Heels" (dir. Jang Jin) is a full-blooded crime story, surprisingly intertwined with a psychological drama. Enclosed in its stylish frames is a story of a deadly efficient detective who struggles not only with a bunch of ruthless mobsters, but also with his own gender identity. In his role of Ji-woon, Korean idol Cha Seung-won masterfully clashes the machismo of the law enforcement environment with the tragic inner split and the feminine nature of his protagonist, pulling the viewers into the meanders of one of the most original plots touching upon the subject of transgender identity in recent years.

The program includes North Korean cinema too. It is represented by a charming story of a miner who dreams of becoming an acrobat, "Comrade Kim Goes Flying" (dir. Kim Gwang Hun, Nicholas Bonner, Anja Daelemans). The international production, made with local audiences in mind, did not aspire to reveal the truth about the life in a regime-ruled country – its goal was to create a gripping story in the spirit of girl power whose entertaining form form could carry an empowering message that would appeal to viewers all around the world.

Permanent library

The permanent library includes titles available exclusively on the platform, distributed in Polish cinemas by Five Flavours. It is a selection of unique, auteur projects from East and Southeast Asia, which offer an interesting perspective on the contemporary situation of the continent and have been warmly received by the festival audience. The titles include an intimate film by the Bhutanese director Dechen Roder, "Honeygiver Among the Dogs," and the powerful, female-led story "Marlina the Murder in Four Acts" by one of the most interesting auteurs of new Indonesian cinema, Mouly Surya.

How to watch?

The films will be available directly at piecsmakow.pl/wdomu.

The films will be presented with Polish and English subtitles, and will be available only in the Polish territory.

Tickets will go on sale on March 31, 2021.

Prices:
• Pass for the "Women of Korea" program – 85 pln
• Single access for a film from the program – 22 PLN
• Pass for the "Women of Korea" program and the permanent library – 120 PLN
• Single Access for a film from the permanent library – 15 PLN

What to expect?

Programs:

  • Women of Korea: April 8 – May 19
  • Sion Sono: May 20 – July 7
  • Asian Road Cinema: July 8 – September 1

Permanent library – from April 8:

  • "Apocalypse Child", dir. Mario Cornejo, Philippines 2016
  • "Maggie" (VOD premiere!), dir. Yi Ok-seop, South Korea 2018
  • "Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts," dir. Mouly Surya, Indonesia / France / Malaysia / Thailand 2017
  • "Honeygiver Among the Dogs," dir. Dechen Roder, Bhutan 2016
  • "Samui Song," dir. Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Thailand / Germany / Norway 2017
  • "The Taste of Pho," dir. Mariko Bobrik, Germany / Polska 2019

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