Sport is more than just fighting for points and medals – the passion for overcoming one’s limits, the throbbing pulse of rivalry, the stubborn strife for the win, and the clear-cut rules, bringing some much-needed order to the chaotic reality. Doesn’t it sound like the perfect film material?
Sports films are not just a recording of spectacular wins and a documentation of the road to the podium. They are the portraits of ordinary people who discover the magic of rivalry, find the meanings of their existence through training, and discover life harmony in the logic of sports rules, even though golden cups are way out of their reach. The Olympic Section presents the varied, diverse faces of professional competitions – from team sports that provide wonderful sociological case studies, to highly individualistic martial arts, shaping body and soul alike.
The program will include the Korean film “Fighter” about an immigrant from the North from whom box becomes a way to change her fate. Another film of the section is “The Empty Hands,” an incredible story based on true events, in which teenagers from a rundown district of Hong Kong turn into an incredibly successful baseball team. “We Are Champions,” on the other hand, takes us into the world of basketball through a fascinating story of two talented brothers who end up playing for opposing teams.
What are some of the other stories that will win over our hearts in November? We will see an early film by Kim Jee-woon (“The Age of Shadows,” “The Good, the Bad, and the Weird,” “A Bittersweet Life”) a cult, tragicomic story about wrestling. We will go out on the boxing ring with the protagonists of “Blue,” one of the most interesting Japanese films of the year, with its pure love for sports and boxers hiding quite a lot of sensitivity and life confusion behind their leather gloves. We will also delve into the honorable principles of martial arts with Mari, a young woman who, after the death of her father, a famous karate instructor, returns to the family tradition. Football, of course, will not be forgotten – together with the young protagonists of an inspiring Indonesian film “We Are Moluccans” we will check if different, much darker political conflicts can also be resolved on the field.
The Olympic Section of the 15th edition of the Five Flavours Festival is a set of works in which the spirit of competition and overcoming one's own weaknesses plays the main role.
Jina from "Warrior Woman" discovers herself through boxing, the characters in "Half a Step" form Hong Kong's first baseball team, and Dae-ho from "King of the Foula" breaks the corporate routine with wrestling training. What does Japanese, Korean or Taiwanese sports cinema say about local society and its ethos? How does it intertwine with politics, and where does the competition from "Squid Game" fit into this whole puzzle? Together with the expert guests, who examine the issue not only from the perspective of film studies, but also from the cultural and sociological perspectives, we try to answer these questions, especially since Asia has been particularly alive with sport in recent months. Not long ago, the summer Olympic Games ended in Tokyo, and in February, athletes in Beijing will compete for medals at their winter edition.
Papaya.Rocks Debate: Between the Games and the Olympics. Sport on Asian Big Screens
Filmawka journalists talk to Łukasz Smolarow, soccer expert and coach who reviews sports cinema for Dwutygodnik. The podcast takes up a number of topics related to this genre – what films are screened in the locker rooms? Is box the perfect metaphor of life? How are athletes, teams and coaches presented on small and big screens?
Section media partner: Papaya.Rocks