15 Documentaries you cannot miss at the 16th Seoul Eco Film Festival

We present a list of fifteen docs you cannot miss at the Seoul Eco Film Festival which will take place from May 23rd – 29th, in Seoul, Korea.
A Corner Shop

A Corner Shop by Lee Sukgyung – Korea | 2018 – 75 minutes

Picnic Cat is a social enterprise that makes and delivers lunchbox meals. It was set up eight years ago by resource-strapped youngsters and grownups to help young people who have opted out of the basic education system. From a small shop making monthly revenues of less than 10 million Korean Won in the spring of 2014, the business grew its revenue to more than 50 million Won in three years. What was happening to the folks working in Picnic Cat in those years? A Corner Shop is the story of how the individuals working in Picnic Cat oscillated between livelihood and humanhood as their shop grew up with them.

May 25th, 2019 | Saturday | Seoul Cinema 5 | 12:30 pm
May 28th, 2019 | Tuesday | Seoul Cinema 10 | 12:00 pm


A Plastic Surgery

A Plastic Surgery: Coca-Cola’s Hidden Secrets by Sandrine Rigaud
France | 2018 – 53 minutes

Every second, another ten tons of plastic is produced. 10% of all plastic produced ends up in the oceans, leading to predictions that, by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. Faced with this global scourge, more and more businesses are promising to recycle, including the Coca-Cola Company, a group that sells 4000 plastic bottles around the world every second. Can we depend on the promises made by these multinationals? And is recycling the solution? We investigated the company’s pledges and discovered that their promises are as sugar-filled as their products.

May 25th, 2019 | Saturday | Seoul Cinema 5 | 15:00 pm
May 29th, 2019 | Wednesday | Seoul Cinema H | 14:00 pm



Army by Park Kyung Kun – Korea | 2018 – 90 minutes

All Korean men must serve in the military in their youth. The film follows Woochul’s journey of the mandatory service to reveal how he is shaped into being a part of the collective. The humor drawn within the rituals of the military traverse against Woochul to embody his recurring nightmares. Dreamlike images and sounds echo that of impressions of youth and memories of their military days to provoke a collective dream of a nation still divided by a cold war.

May 26th, 2019 | Sunday | Seoul Cinema 7 | 20:00 pm
May 28th, 2019 | Tuesday | Seoul Cinema H | 12:00 pm




Blue by Karina Holden – Australia | 2017 – 76 minutes

Half of all marine life has been lost in the last 40 years. The way the ocean operates is different to how we thought of it 100 years ago. We can no longer think of it as a place of limitless resources, a dumping ground, immune to change or decline. Featuring passionate advocates for ocean preservation, BLUE takes us into their world. We meet those who are defending habitats, campaigning for smarter fishing, combating marine pollution and fighting for the protection of keystone species.

May 26th, 2019 | Sunday | Seoul Cinema 10 | 14:00 pm




Close-Knit by Ogigami Naoko – Japan | 2017 – 127 minutes

Every time mother left home in search of a new love which was quite often, I would visit my mother’s brother, Makio. Uncle Makio’s live-in friend, Rinko would make me lunch boxes with cute kitten-decorated rice balls and octopus sausages, and tie my hair every morning. Sometimes I would share secrets over a paper cup phone with Rinko who is so affectionate. Would you like to listen along with us?

May 24th, 2019 | Friday | Seoul Cinema H | 17:30 pm



Coming to You

Coming to You, Minu by Jee Hyewon – Korea | 2018 – 90 minutes

Nepalese Minu is a migrant worker who lived in Korea for 18 years as an illegal immigrant. He performed as a lead vocal of a migrant worker band ‘Stop Crackdown’. Also, he was a social activist for the Migrant Workers’ Human Rights Movement, in partnership with Korean NGOs. In 2009, he was deported back to Nepal due to a targeted crackdown. Later, he had an unexpected opportunity to visit Korea.

May 24th, 2019 | Friday | Seoul Cinema 5 | 12:30 pm
May 27th, 2019 | Monday | Seoul Cinema 10 | 20:00 pm



Earth by Nikolaus Geyrhalter – Australia | 2019 – 116 minutes

Several billion tons of earth are moved annually by humans – with shovels, excavators or dynamite. Nikolaus GEYRHALTER observes people, in mines, quarries and at large construction sites, engaged in a constant struggle to take possession of the planet.

May 25th, 2019 | Saturday | Seoul Cinema H | 14:30 pm
May 27th, 2019 | Monday | Seoul Cinema 10 | 14:30 pm



Every Day a Good Day

Every Day a Good Day by Ohmri Tatsushi – Japan | 2018 – 100 minutes

Noriko at twenty still hasn’t decided what she wants to do. By chance, she begins attending a Japanese tea ceremony classes which naturally becomes a part of her daily life. The warm tea provides comfort at times when she is turned away from a job opportunity, or when she suffers from losing a loved one.

May 26th, 2019 | Sunday | Seoul Cinema 10 | 12: 00 pm


Forbidden Fatherland

Forbidden Fatherland by Kim Lyang – Korea | 2018 – 76 minutes

The filmmaker in her mid-forties finds it difficult to understand her father. She has always felt a generation gap with her father who went through the most tumultuous time in Korean modern history since he was born in North Korea during the Japanese occupation and then single-handedly settled down in Busan after the Korean War. Yet she is trying to understand him as he now ails from old age and Parkinson’s disease. Subsequently she becomes interested in the fact that her father is from the beautiful seaside village of Dancheon-gun, South Hamgyeong-do. Facing the awkward reality of imagining her father’s hometown in North Korea as she reaches middle age, the filmmaker comes up with a plan to get there by sea.

May 24h, 2019 | Friday | Seoul Cinema 10 | 14:30 pm
May 28th, 2019 | Tuesday | Seoul Cinema 5 | 20:00 pm


Garden Zoological

Garden, Zoological by Wang Michel – Korea | 2018 – 98 minutes

The keepers are kept busy with the animals under their care. These animals, although some may haven’t completely lost their innate instincts, are unlikely to survive if released back to the wild. It’d be difficult for them to live in packs and find food on their own. Ultimately, the zoo may well be the new habitat that they must adapt themselves to live in.

May 25th, 2019 | Saturday | Seoul Cinema 7 | 14:00 pm
May 27th, 2019 | Monday | Seoul Cinema H | 14:30 pm


Little Boy

Little Boy 12725 by Kim Ji-Gon – Korea | 2018 – 100 minutes

8:15 am, August 6th, 1945, atomic bomb ‘Little Boy’ was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The six-year old girl who was there at that very moment returned to her hometown and gave birth to her own ‘little boy’ KIM Hyung-ryul. KIM discovers the tragic scars of the bombing on his body and decides to tell the world.

May 25th, 2019 | Saturday | Seoul Cinema 10 | 17:00 pm
May 27th, 2019 | Monday | Seoul Cinema 5 | 19:00 pm


Punch Bowl

Punch Bowl by Kim Young-jo – Kore | 2018 – 93 minutes

Pastor Kyung-Ok lost a leg when he was playing house as a child, Young-Sik lost both arms and his eyesight in one eye while helping his older sister do the laundry, and Jungho consumed his youth with resentment after losing one arm and his eyesight. What put their lives through misery were landmines that resurfaced from monsoon rains or were carelessly neglected by the military. Meanwhile, civilian demining specialist Ki-ho who believes the removal of landmines, the most inhumane and insidious weapons will be the foundation of the reunification of the Korean Peninsula embarks on a mission to find hidden landmines around the country as well as the Civilian Control Line.

May 26th, 2019 | Sunday | Seoul Cinema 7 | 17:00 pm
May 29th, 2019 | Wednesday | Seoul Cinema H | 16:00 pm



Rivercide: The Secret Six by Kim Byung-Gi – Korea | 2018 – 108 minutes

For the past 10 years, Oh-My-News has been following former Korean president LEE Myung-Bak’s ‘Pan Korea Grand Waterway’ project he proclaimed as his main election pledge during his presidential candidate campaign. The uproar that followed the on-line news site’s report on Germany and the Netherlands’ canals on February 2007 played a crucial role in pushing the former president to drop the Grand Waterway project. Nevertheless, suspicions were raised that LEE’s multi-billion dollar ‘Maintenance of the 4 Great Rivers’ project was in fact the Grand Waterway project in disguise, while wasted tax-payers’ money and collusion with a major construction firm were disclosed during an investigation. To make matters worse, academia, religious circles, civil societies and the press were unable or gagged from serving their roles, resulting in the defamation of democracy. This film raises the issue of the ‘4 Great Rivers project’ for collective discourse by documenting those who sided with the LEE government and those who stood their grounds to preserve the Geum, Nakdong, Han, and Yeongsan Rivers, and resist these rivers from being destroyed.

May 26th, 2019 | Sunday | Seoul Cinema 5 | 17:30 pm
May 29th, 2019 | Wednesday | Seoul Cinema H | 18:00 pm


The Remnants

The Remnants by Riccardo Russo & Paolo Barberi
Italy, Switzerland | 2017 – 72 minutes

Even though it is widely ignored, Laos holds a shocking record: it is the most heavily bombed country in modern history even though it never declared war on other countries. From 1964 up to 1973 American airplanes have dropped more than 2 million explosive devices on Laotian territory while carrying out over 500,000 bombing missions. More than forty years later, the country still carries the heavy signs and burdens of such ruthless and inhumane warfare. Everything has changed since the war, but people still must deal and live with the consequences of it. Unexploded bombs have caused since the end of the war more than 22,000 civil victims. The rest of these deadly devices have been integrated in the chores of every day’s life transforming bombs in troughs, water tanks and even flower pots. The film carefully examines how to transform horror and death while trying to carry on, daily. With a precise observational style, the directors introduce the viewer to a never seen reality where the war and its remnants have been weaved into the fabric of life.

May 26th, 2019 | Sunday | Seoul Cinema H | 12:00 pm
May 28th, 2019 | Tuesday | Seoul Cinema 10 | 17:00 pm



Up Down & Sideways

Up Down & Sideways by Anushka Meenakshi & Iswar Srikumar
India | 2017 – 83 minutes

Close to the India – Myanmar border is the village of Phek in Nagaland. Around 5000 people live here, almost all of whom cultivate rice for their own consumption. As they work in cooperative groups preparing the terraced fields, planting saplings, or harvesting the grain and carrying it up impossibly steep slopes the rice cultivators of Phek sing. The seasons change, and so does the music, transforming the mundane into the hypnotic. The love that they sing of is also a metaphor for the need for the other – the friend, the family, the community, to build a polyphony of voices. Stories of love, stories of the field, stories of song, stories in song. ‘Up Down & Sideways’ is a musical portrait of a community of rice cultivators and their memories of love and loss, created from working together on the fields. It is the first feature-length film from the u-ra-mi-li project, a larger body of work that looks at the connections between music and labour.

May 24th, 2019 | Friday | Seoul Cinema 10 | 12:00 pm
May 26th, 2019 | Sunday | Seoul Cinema 7 | 12:00 pm


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