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Archive - 10th Five Flavours Film Festival

Train to Busan

South Korea 2016, 118’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Yeon Sang-ho
screenplay: Park Joo-suk, Yeon Sang-ho
cinematography: Lee Hyung-Duk
editing: Yang Jin-mo
music: Jang Young-gyu
cast: Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, Ma Dong-seok, Kim Soo-ahn, Kim Eui-sung, Choi Woo-sik, Ahn So-hee, Jang Hyuk-Jin, Shim Eun-Kyung
producer: Lee Dong-ha, Kim Yeon-ho
production: RedPeter Film
language: Korean
colouration: colour

Awards and festivals

Fantasia IFF 2016 - Audience Award for Best Asian Feature, Cheval Noir Award; Cannes FF 2016; Melbourne IFF 2016; Sitges FF 2016;

Film description

Seok Woo is an overworked, egoistic manager in a large corporation in Seoul. His wife left him, and even his little daughter refuses to spend her birthday with him – she prefers to visit her mother in the port city of Pusan. Unexpectedly, Seok Woo decides to take the girl there himself. They get on a KTX express train, the pride of Korea, and travel south.

Meanwhile, people around them begin to act strangely – it seems that the country is suffering from a rampant zombie epidemic. The world soon turns into hellish chaos. Whoever fails to hide, joins the horde of the living dead. When infected individuals are also found on the train, the ride quickly turns into a fight for survival and a true test of humanity. Is Pusan safe? And are zombies really the biggest danger for the passengers?

The film consistently fulfills all the premises of the genre set by George Romero's 1968 "Night of the Living Dead." It includes a strong, social commentary and a critique of class inequalities, which can be applied both to the Sewol ferry catastrophe in 2014, and the worldwide immigration crisis.

"Train to Busan" is the feature debut of Yeo Sang-ho, who achieved worldwide fame with his nihilistic animations (including "The King of Pigs" shown at the 6th Five Flavours). The director fills the train with a group of wonderfully written characters, showing their struggles with great panache and visual imagination. The result is a buzzing, high-energy, high-budget firecracker, which became a smash hit in its homeland and then took other film markets by storm – from Taiwan to Australia.

For years, Korean filmmakers enjoyed taking over new genres, breathing in a new life into the used-up schemes filled with still, Hollywood airs. The year 2016 is especially fruitful for this cinematography, with "Train to Busan" being its biggest surprise.

Marcin Krasnowolski

Yeon Sang-ho

Born in 1978. Animator, director and screenwriter. Graduate of the painting department of Sangmyoung University, founder of the DadaShow Studio. His shorts were shown at prestigious animation festivals.


2008 Love is Protein (kr. m.)
2006 The Hell: Two Kinds of Life (kr. m.)
2011 Król świń / The King of Pigs / Dwaejiui Wang
2013 The Fake / Saibi
2016 Seoul Station / Seoulyeok
2016 Train To Busan / Busanhaeng

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