73rd Venice International Film Festival – Asian Presence


We take a look at the Asian films presented this year at the Venice International Film Festival that will take place from August 31st – September 10th in Venice, Italy.

The Venice International Film Festival, one of the oldest and most prestige film festival in the world will screen fifteen Asian films this year. Ang babaeng humayo (The woman who left | Philippines) by Lav Diaz will compete in the Official Competition. In the Orizzonti Section we have found three shorts; Dadyaa (Nepal) by Bibhusan Basnet and Pooja Gurung, On the origin of fear (Indonesia) by Bayu Prihantoro Filemon, and 500.000 Pee (500.000 Years – Thailand) by Chai Siris. We also will find Gukoroku (Traces of Sin – Japan) by Kei Ishikawa, White Sun (Nepal) by Deepak Rauniyar and Ku Qian (Bitter Money – Hong Kong, France) by Wang Bing. Out of competition we have Kim Jee Woon ´s Miljeong (The Age of Shadows – South Korea).

Mukti Bhawan (Hotel Salvation – India) by Shubhashish Bhutiani will compete in the Biennale College Competition. In the Cinema nel Giardino the festival will screen Geumul (The Net – South Korea) by Kim Ki-duk. At the International Critics’ Week we will see Singing in Graveyards (Philippines, Malaysia) by Bradley Liew. Finally the festival will screen some classics they are Events in a cloud chamber (India) by Ashim Ahluwalia, Shanzhong Chuanqi (Legend of the mountain – Hong Kong) by King Hu, Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai – Japan) by Akira Kurosawa and The Ondekoza (Japan) by Kato Tai.

Official Competition

Ang babaeng humayo

Ang babaeng humayo (The woman who left) by Lav Diaz – Philippines – 226 min.

“Existence is fragile” says Lav Diaz, “At the end of the day, we really don’t know anything”. A simple, yet complex story; a work about human existence, which raises the question “where does logic figure in all of this?” A film that seeks to push cinema towards its deeper and grander end: to find answers to the philosophical questions that each viewer asks himself. The setting in Mindoro, a province of the Philippines of which Charo Santos-Concio is a native, made the shooting even more authentic than the theme of the film could have.

September 9th – Sala Grande – 15:30 pm
September 9th – Pala Biennale – 22:15 pm

Orizzonti Competition

Dadyaa by Bibhusan Basnet and Pooja Gurung – Nepal, France – 17 min.

In their remote village, haunted by memories, Atimaley and Devi find themselves faced with a dilemma when a dear friend leaves without saying goodbye.

Trailer (will open in a new window)

On the origin of fear

On the origin of fear by Bayu Prihantoro Filemon – Indonesia – 12 min.

Overdubbing the roles of both torturer and victim in one of Indonesia’s most contentious movies, a performer in a sound booth becomes the one-man embodiment of a whole era’s worst cruelties and sufferings.

Trailer (will open in a new window)


Gukoroku (Traces of Sin) by Kei Ishikawa – Japan – 120 min.

An elite salary man, his wife and and their child are murdered by an unknown assailant. The case initially made the headlines, but it is now an unsolved case.

One year later, Tanaka (Satoshi Tsumabuki) begins to cover the unsolved murder case. He is a reporter for a weekly magazine. Through an interview with someone who knew the murdered couple, Tanaka learns the murdered couple was far from the ideal couple that they appeared. The truth of the case begins to appear.



White Sun by Deepak Rauniyar – Nepal – 87 min.

When his father dies, anti-regime partisan Chandra must travel to his remote mountain village after nearly a decade away. Little Pooja is anxiously awaiting the man she thinks is her father, but she’s confused when Chandra arrives with Badri, a young street orphan rumored to be his son. Chandra must face his brother Suraj, who was on the opposing side during the Nepali civil war. The two brothers cannot put aside political feelings while carrying their father’s body down the steep mountain path to the river for cremation. Suraj storms off in a rage, leaving Chandra with no other men strong enough to help. Under pressure from the village elders, Chandra must seek help from outside the village to obey the rigid caste and discriminatory gender traditions he fought to eliminate during the war. Chandra searches for a solution in neighboring villages, among the police, guests at a local wedding, and rebel guerrillas…

500.000 Pee (500.000 Years) by Chai Siris – Thailand – 15 min.

In Lampang, at the archeological site that found fossil of homoerectus 17 years ago, now no body care about this scientific discovery. Just locals went there for spiritual activity sometimes. One evening an outdoor cinema truck went there to screen a film as an offer to the ancient ghost, Kohka man, during the screening, something unexpected happened.

Trailer (will open in a new window)

Ku Qian (Bitter Money) by Wang Bing – Hong Kong, France – 120 min. (Documentary)

Out of Competition

Miljeong (The Age of Shadows) by Kim Jee Woon – South Korea – 139 min.

Movie follows the activities of the Heroic Corps, an anti-Japanese independence organization that existed under the Japanese colonial period in South Korea. The group used violent means to achieve Korean independence.

Trailer (will open in a new window)

Biennale College Competition

Mukti Bhawan (Hotel Salvation) by Shubhashish Bhutiani – India – 103 min.

When a 77 year old man, Daya, wakes up from a strange nightmare, he knows his time is up and he must get to Varanasi immediately in hope of dying there to attain salvation. His dutiful son, Rajiv, is left with no choice but to drop everything and make the journey with his stubborn father, leaving behind his wife and daughter. The two of them check into Mukti Bhawan /Hotel Salvation, a hotel devoted to people hoping to spend their last days there. Rajiv finds himself having to live and take care of his father for the first time in his life. While Rajiv struggles to juggle his responsi- bilities back home, Daya starts to bloom as he finds a sense of community in the hotel, and a companion in the 75-year old Vimla. As the days go by and Daya shows no sign of letting up, Rajiv is faced with the dilemma of whether to remain there with his father or fulfill his duty back home.
Rajiv gives his father a shot at salvation but as family bonds are tested, he finds himself torn, not knowing what he must do to keep his life together.

Cinema nel Giardino

The Net
Geumul (The Net) by Kim Ki-duk – South Korea – 114 min.

In the new film from provocative Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk (Pieta), a poor North Korean fisherman finds himself an accidental defector, and is groomed to be a spy by an ambitious South Korean military officer.

International Critics’ Week

Singing in Graveyards
Singing in Graveyards by Bradley Liew – Malaysia, Philippines – 143 min.

Pepe, a 68 year old impersonator of a Filipino rock legend, lives alone on the borders of reality, imagination and mysticism. One day, he’s finally given the chance to open for the rock legend’s concert but he must do something neither of them has done before – write a love song.

Trailer (will open in a new window)

Venice Classic Section
Events in a cloud chamber by Ashim Ahluwalia – India – 20 min. (Documentary)
Shanzhong Chuanqi (Legend of the mountain) by King Hu – Hong Kong | 1979 – 184 min.
Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai) by Akira Kurosawa – Japan | 1954 – 207 min.
The Ondekoza by Kato Tai – Japan | 1981 – 107 min.

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