AsianFilmFestivals present a list of 80 Asian Films, Docs & Shorts you cannot miss. Today we continue with the Films & Docs.
About the list
After covering lots of festivals in these first months of 2016 we decided to publish a list of 38 Asian films, 17 documentaries & 25 shorts you cannot miss. The list was made taking into account fifty-six festivals that took place from January – June (2016). After reading lots of catalogues we decided to highlight films we consider interesting to watch. We try to be fair and cover all genres.
To make it more organized we decided to publish the list in different post. Also to make it more accessible for future reads we created a new section in the Top Menu called “80 Asian Films” there you will find all the post we create related to this list. We hope you like our selection of films and as always we are open to any comments.
Note: the films were order alphabetically
FILMS & DOCS (31-45)
Oyster Factory by Soda Kazuhiro – Japan, USA | 2015 – 145 min.
In the Japanese town of Ushimado, the shortage of labour is a serious problem. Traditionally, oyster shucking has been a job for local men and women, but for a few years now, some of the factories have had to use foreigners in order to keep functioning. Hirano oyster factory has never employed any outsiders but finally decides to bring in two workers from China. Will all the employees get along?
Port of Call by Aaron Kwok – South Korea | 2015 – 126 min.
Detective Chong of the Hong Kong Police Force takes the lead on a murder investigation of a dismembered 16-year-old prostitute girl, Wong Kai Mui. But when the killer, Ding Chi Chung, willingly surrenders himself and confesses to the crime, Chong turns his focus on why it happened at all. By delving deeper into the lives and histories of both the murderer and victim, Chong finds answers but struggles to understand what they mean. (DramaForReal)
Red Tomb by Gu Ja-hwan – South Korea | 2015 – 97 min.
From the time of Korea’s liberation from Japan until a ceasefire was called to the Korean War in 1953, more than 1,000,000 civilians were sacrificed. It became a back and forth slaughter between the left and the right, but the slaughter of many victims also came at the hands of South Korean armed forces, right-wing groups, and bombing by US troops. In the middle of it all, as a level of preventative measure during the early stages of the Korean War, were the detained and massacred National Guidance Alliance members. Of the estimated 230,000-450,000 members across the country, the majority were farmers, and were people with no interest in political ideology. For no other reason than joining a government-made enlightenment group, these people, without even receiving a trial, were falsely victimized. All because of national ideological standards that had nothing directly to do with the Korean War. (HanCinema)
Redha by Tunku Mona Riza – Malaysia | 2015 – 115 min.
Upon the discovery that their only son Danial is autistic, Alina and Razlan’s world crumbles as they struggles to confront the harsh realities of raising a child disabled by a condition they hardly knew about. Razlan’s inability to accept the truth causes friction within the family, but Alina’s perseverance and maternal instinct help wade through the difficult times raising Danial. With her sister and a close friend by her side, they may have found a way to improve Danial’s quality of life until a tragic accident causes the family to re-think its strategy. (WPFF Catalogue)
Right now, Wrong Then by Hong Sang-soo – South Korea | 2015 – 121 min.
By mistake, film director Ham Chun-su arrives in Suwon a day early and has time to kill before his screening the next day. He stops by a restored, old palace and meets a painter named Yoon Hee-jung. They spend time together visiting her studio, having dinner, spending time drinking with Hee-jung’s friends and they end up growing close to each other. But when Chun-su is asked if he is married, he has no choice but to reveal that he is, deeply disappointing Hee-jung… (TransilvaniaIFF Catalogue)
Ringgo: The Dog-Shooter by Rahyan Carlos – Philippines | 2015 – 114 min.
This is a story of the journey of 3 souls heading towards healing and redemption. RINGGO is a 16-year old boy who works as a dog-shooter (the one who assists in mating the dogs with breed — he will see to it that the private parts of the stud and bitch will be locked during the mating and no sperm will be put to waste in the process).
Ringgo works for BONG, a 40-year old lesbian who is a breeder of dogs. One of Bong’s dogs is I’nca, who is a troubled Doberman. Things will get complicated when Ringgo, I’nca and Bong developed a relationship as if they were really mother and child, and get entangled in each other’s personal issues and becomes each other’s protector and defender. The one that ties the three of them is that invisible umbilical cord… the cord of love and sacrifice. (WPFF Catalogue)
Sakaling Hindi Makarating by Ice Idanan – Philippines | 2016 – 90 min.
A series of mysterious hand-illustrated postcards take a young woman on a journey throughout the Philippines in search of its anonymous writer.
Sayonara by Fukada Koji – Japan | 2015 – 112 min.
The near future. As Japan has become contaminated with radiation, the government decides to evacuate its residents. Left behind is a South African refugee, Tanya, and her android caretaker, Leona. The two are left alone together to contemplate life and death. What separates them? What meaning does “life” and “death” carry for humans and robots, respectively?
Spirits’ Homecoming by Cho Jung-rae – South Korea | 2015 – 127 min.
In 1943, an ingenuous 14-year-old girl, Jeong-min is taken away from her family by Japanese army. Jeongmin is accompanied with lots of other girls including Young-hee who also is brought in a train whose destination is unknown to the girls. Jeong-min and other girls are thrown out into the middle of a freezing battle field of World War II. What awaits them is the site filled with miserable pain and agony forged by Japanese soldiers.
Still and All by Kim Youngjo – South Korea | 2015 – 92 min.
Yeongdo Bridge has opened up again after 47 years, placing the Yeongdo Island at the center of change and revitalization. However, there are some people living underneath the bridge with the hope that things would just stay the same. Among them, there are a temporarily employed welder for decades in the shipyard that is going to close down, an old crippled lady living with her old dog, an old deaf female diver who collects shells and seaweed for a living, and the only and last two grandma fortune tellers who still remain without visitors in Yeongdo, once the street full of fortune tellers and their numerous customers. Regardless of their hope, they all are driven to move out by the city government planning to make the island into a tourist attraction by reconstructing it. Still and all, they do not want to leave their lifelong homes despite all the pressure on them from the city government…
Ta’ang by Wang Bing – Hong Kong | 2016 – 147 min.
The TA’ANG, a Burmese ethnic minority, are caught between a civil war and the Chinese border. Since early 2015, heavy fights have forced thousands of children, women and older people on an exodus across the border into China. TA’ANG follows the daily life of these refugees, forced to leave their home but hoping to return soon.
Taklub by Brillante Mendoza – Philippines | 2015 – 117 min.
After the Supertyphoon Haiyan, which changed the city of Tacloban in the Philippines into its horrendous state, the lives of Bebeth, Larry and Erwin intertwine. The survivors are left to search for the dead, while keeping their sanity intact, and protecting what little faith there may be left. A series of events continue to test their endurance.
Ten Years by Ng Ka-Leung, Kwok Zune, Kwun-wai Chow, Jevons Au, Wong Fei-Pang
Hong Kong | 2015 – 103 min.
Five shorts, which imagine what Hong Kong will be like in ten years. Five young Hong Kong directors raise questions about the most central issues concerning the city, and the audience is invited to ponder. All the stories are independent, yet at the same time, intricately related to one another, attempting to portray decisions and struggles of humanity in a dark age.
Tharlo by Pema Tseden – China | 2015 – 123 min.
‘I know who I am. Isn’t that enough?’ says Tharlo (played exquisitely by Shide Nyima), when a local policeman tells him to get a photo ID card. This simple process leads him to see his own life with fresh eyes, aided by his growing affection for local hairdresser Yangchuo (Yangshik Tso). Her intentions, however, are not as pure as they initially appear. This fourth feature film from Pema Tseden comments incisively on the clash between tradition and modernity that defines life in contemporary Tibet. A slow-burning heartbreaker that unfolds with fable-like simplicity, Tharlo demands to be seen on a big screen for its austere, enveloping beauty.
The Cat in the Closet by Tseng Ying-Ting – Taiwan | 2016 – 82 min.
The sudden death of their son prompts the couple to shut themselves up in their own worlds. The mother begins to spend more and more time feeding the stray cats on the street while the father pretends that nothing is wrong. Eight years after the incident, their daughter comes home, forcing the family to face their pain again.
Go to the 80 Asian Films to see the complete list.