We take a look at the films that will be opening and closing the 21st Busan International Film Festival that will be held from October 6th – 15th, 2016.
A Quiet Dream by Zhang Lu – South Korea | 2016 – 101 min.
Life is tough for Ye-ri, a young woman who runs a bar and takes care of her unconscious, paralyzed father. Three men, Ik-june, Jong-bin, and Jung-bum, all try to woo her, but they don’t have much success for each is flawed in their own way. Ik-june is similar to the vagabond in Breathless, Jong-bin is reminiscent of the private in The Unforgiven, and Jung-bum is like the North Korean defector in The Journals of Musan. Can any of them win Ye-ri’s heart?
As the Korean title hints, the story in A Quiet Dream may only be a “dream”. Movies certainly do have dream-like attributes, and dreams are also a mirror of reality. Such thoughts remind us of the question Zhang Lu proposes to immigrant workers in his documentary Scenery: “What is your dream?” Their dreams actually unfold through his films, which are instilled with life’s warmth, compassion, and tribulations.
A Quiet Dream serves as a testament to Zhang Lu’s second period films, which include Gyeongju and Love in the Era of Film. After attempting to criticize reality through calm contemplation, Zhang has turned to making films that intertwine dreams, the cinematic, and reality. Black and white images, restrained music, the daily rhythm of life–all coalesce within the traces of a dream. (21st BIFF Catalogue)
The Dark Wind by Hussein Hassan – Iraq, Germany, Qatar | 2016 – 92 min.
A film about innocent love, traditional values and the collision of conflicting religious beliefs, The Dark Wind is the third feature film by Hussein Hassan, a renowned actor and writer in Kurdistan, Iraq making its international premiere at the Busan International Film Festival this year. Young Reko lives in Ezidi, Shingal in Iraq, and is engaged to Pero. One day, Pero is abducted and sold to a slave market by IS. Reko manages to find her and bring her back to the refugee camp, but the village people, including Pero’s own parents, ostracize her. When it is revealed that she was raped and conceived a baby, her father, who cherishes the honor of his family more than anything, becomes even icier, driving Pero to despair. The only people who care about Pero are Reko and Pero’s mother. Pero’s pain is worsened by being surrounded by people who lost everything except for their stifling lives. The loss of mental and economical stability drives them to hate Pero even more. In telling all these stories, Hassan successfully develops a conflicting narrative structure while maintaining a rational eye throughout the film in order to emphasize the reality of the tragedy. All around the world, women are often the victims of atrocious crimes of war and terror, and Hassan also makes it clear this tragedy is not limited to Ezidi, but is contemporary and universal to all humankind. (21st BIFF Catalogue)
Soon we will take a look at this year catalogue and select films you cannot miss at the festival so please stay tuned to Asian Film Festivals.