40 Films you cannot miss at the 24th Busan International Film Festival (Part 2)

busan2019films2We present the second part of our list of films that you shouldn’t miss at the 24th Busan International Film Festival which will take place from October 3rd – 12th, in Busan, Korea.

About the festival:
The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) held annually in Haeundaegu, Busan (Korea) is one of the most important film festivals in Asia, together with the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Tokyo International Film Festival. Since the first edition in 1996, the festival aim to introduce new films and first-time directors to the world. Another notable feature is the appeal of the festival to young people, both in terms of the large youthful audience it attracts and through its efforts to develop and promote young talent.

Note: this article was split into four parts. At the end of this publication you will find the links to other films. Thanks – Team AFF



Exit by Lee Sang-geun – Korea | 2018 – 104 minutes

“Viruses don’t have an ideology.” This is what Steven SODERBERGH said, the director of the excellent infectious disaster film Contagion. It seems to mean that the virus that causes the disaster is indiscriminate and therefore even scarier. However, the misty gas in Exit is the opposite. Yong-nam (CHO Jung-seok) who has been out of jobs preparing for employment for years, and Eui-joo (Yoon-ah), who is exhausted from her dull working life, have to run from the building to another building to escape the poison gas.

“If I get out of here, I’ll only apply for the companies in those tall buildings,” said Yongnam, and the audience laughs but the reality is scary. Or the reality is scary, but the audience laughs. The advantage of Exit is that it knows a good deal of humor, flexibility, and fun, while keenly aware of the harsh social realities. That may have been one of the driving forces of the movie’s box office hit. (JUNG Han-Seok)

October 4th (Friday) | CGV Centum City Starium | 16:30 pm
October 7th (Monday) | Lotte Cinema Daeyoung 2 | 17:00 pm
October 10th (Thursday) | CGV Centum City 1 | 19:30 pm




Family Affair

Family Affair by Lee Dong-eun – Korea | 2019 – 101 minutes

A mother left her children a long time ago and remarried. The remaining three children have lived together without their mother. One day they suddenly receive their mother’s letter. With the letter, the three take an unexpected trip together to meet their mother. They said, “Three siblings,” but in fact, they are four siblings. The youngest one had already died years ago in a heartbreaking accident and is only alive in the hearts of the remaining family members. Family Affair is a road movie and a family movie. Director LEE Dongeun has completed Family Affairfurther elaborating on the strengths of his two previous films, In Between Seasons and Mothers. The advantage is to build emotions flexibly, gradually, but firmly. The movie, which seems like a normal movie, goes through big and small events that appear all over the place and becomes the family’s special and beautiful lament. (JUNG Han-Seok)

October 4th (Friday) | Lotte Cinema Daeyoung 3 | 13:00 pm
October 5th (Saturday) | Lotte Cinema Centum City 4 | 20:00 pm
October 6th (Sunday) | CGV Centum City 7 | 13:30 pm



Heavy Craving

Heavy Craving by Hsieh Pei-ju – Taiwan | 2019 – 90 minutes

Thirty-year-old Ying-Juan, who weighs 105 kilograms, is a great cook. She works as a lunch lady at her mother’s daycare center. Neighborhood children and people ridicule and sneer at her for her weight, but Ying-Juan is confident about herself. When her mother gives her a membership for a weight management clinic as a birthday present, Ying-Juan is forced to start dieting, but it doesn’t help her lose weight. Then one day, she meets Wu. A bright and kind deliveryman, Wu rescues Ying-Juan from danger by chance, and the two become friends. Wu always encourages Ying-Juan and sides with her. But when Ying-Juan learns his secret and the real reason he approached her, she falls into a shock. Presenting a story about the hypocrisy and prejudice hidden behind external beauty in today’s era of superficiality, Heavy Craving sends a message about what is more important than appearance. (Chae Bohyun)

October 6th (Sunday) | Lotte Cinema Centum City 4 | 14:00 pm
October 9th (Wednesday) | Busan Cinema Center Cinema 2 | 13:30 pm
October 11th (Friday) | Lotte Cinema Centum City 5 | 16:00 pm




I Am Home

I Am Home by Park Je-bum – Korea | 2019 – 93 minutes

Only the father (KANG Shin-il) left in the house where the whole family once lived. The mother left the father and met another good man a long time ago. The first daughter doesn’t want to take care of the father either. She is living happily elsewhere. The story is about Eunseo’s (LEE Yoo-young) family, who are scattered all over. Looking for a new house to move to, Eunseo is forced to move in with her father in the old house for a while. The father and Eunseo feel awkward about everything. The father is so reticent and even taciturn when he is kind. Eunseo sometimes feels congested about her father.

I Am Home is the story of this family, the story of this father and the daughter. The story unfolds in an obstinately bland manner. Even at the moment when dramatic changes come to the father’s status, the film goes all out to portray the daily calm as a fate. (JUNG Han-Seok)

October 4th (Friday) | Lotte Cinema Daeyoung 1 | 16:30 pm
October 5th (Saturday) | Lotte Cinema Centum City 5 | 13:30 pm
October 9th (Wednesday) | Lotte Cinema Centum City 3 | 19:30 pm



It Stopped Raining

It Stopped Raining by Nakagawa Ryutaro – Japan | 2019 – 99 minutes

Yukisuke, a young, leggy bio-archeologist, gets to know Koyomi, a young land, selling Taiyaki on the street, similar to Korean fish-shaped bun. He is fascinated by her and visits her stall often. The two talk together and often hang out, but Koyomi gets in a car accident and is hospitalized. In a coma for days, she finally regains consciousness, but suffers from temporary amnesia. Yukisuke tries to stay closest to her as before, but her past memories give him a hard time. Taking a look at the acting skills of Director KAWASE Naomi, who appears as Koyomi’s legal guardian in hospital scenes, is another delicacy of watching the film.

KANAGAWA Ryutaro, a young director, hailed by French film magazine “Cahiers du Cinéma” as a new wave of Japanese films, was born in 1990 in KANAGAWA, Japan. His debut film August in Tokyo and his second film Tokyo Sunrise were invited to the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2014 and 2015, while his third feature, Flower in Summer, won the International Critics Association Award at the 2017 Moscow International Film Festival. The fourth film, Mio on the Beach, was invited to the Moscow International Film Festival that ended last April. It Stopped Raining is the director’s latest film. (Jay JEON)

October 4th (Friday) | CGV Centum City 5 | 20:00 pm
October 6th (Sunday) | Lotte Cinema Centum City 5 | 10:30 am
October 11th (Friday) | MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 3 | 19:30 pm




Jallikattu by Lijo Jose Pellissery – India | 2019 – 91 minutes

“Jallikattu” is a ritual or a game that has been played since before the common era in India’s Tamil region. Similar to a rodeo, the person who stays the longest on the back of an ox is considered the winner. The film begins in a quiet village in the countryside, with a buffalo running away from a slaughterhouse. The village men try to capture the beast, and even the men from neighboring villages start to join in, creating chaos intermingled with confusion, violence, and hatred beyond control.

Jallikattu addresses the issues of latent brutality and madness in humans, particularly how the violence and savageness ruled by manliness are justified, expressed, and accepted. The screams of men and beasts and the sound of people s s footsteps fill the screen as soon as the film begins, along with the music with an intense beat that matches the tempo. Lijo Jose PELLISSERY’s directing captures the chaotic scenes intermingled with dozens of people with a rapid rhythm, making the viewers unable to tear their eyes away from the screen for even a second. (PARK Sun Young)

October 4th (Friday) | Lotte Cinema Centum City 2 | 13:00 pm
October 8th (Tuesday) | MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 5 | 19:00 pm
October 11th (Friday) | CGV Centum City 7 | 13:30 pm




John Denver Trending

John Denver Trending by Condez Arden Rod – Philippines | 2019 – 96 minutes

John Denver is a quiet, ordinary eighth grader who lives with his mom. During a school dance practice, a classmate who is broadcasting the practice on social media plays a mean prank on John. Upset, John leave the practice early, only to be accused of stealing the boy’s iPad. John retaliates to his bully, and their fight is filmed and uploaded on social media. The video of John attacking his classmate goes viral, and his peaceful life is completely destroyed.

John Denver Trending starts with a remarkable opening scene that shows the filming of the video. It is then followed by images of social media screen, instant messages, and cleverly manipulated editing process to effectively present the incident that completely spirals out of control in real time. Rather than focusing on the truth of the matter, the film explores the ubiquity of online violence committed by numerous anonymous perpetrators. But above all, the ensemble acting of the strong mother who struggles through this incident and the tenderhearted son with expressive eyes particularly stands out in this film. (PARK Sun Young)

October 6th (Sunday) | Busan Cinema Center Cinema 1 | 16:30 pm
October 8th (Tuesday) | Lotte Cinema Centum City 6 | 20:00 pm
October 9th (Wednesday) | MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 6 | 10:30 am




Kyungmi’s World

Kyungmi’s World by Koo Jihyun – Korea | 2019 – 108 minutes

The title of this movie, Kyungmi’s World, is interesting. Kyungmi doesn’t appear as the main character in the movie. The main characters are Suyeon and her grandmother (even her grandmother’s name is not Kyungmi). Suyeon is an aspiring actress, but she has yet to escape from her difficult, unknown life, even though she has been on the same path for seven years. One day, Suyeon gets a call. The owner of her grandma’s house tells Suyeon that the house demolished, and her grandma is hospitalized. Suyeon visits her grandmother, who has not been in touch with each other for ages. And she finds out that her grandmother is suffering from dementia. Suyeon and her grandmother’s family history, or their ill-fated intertwined lives, constantly collide throughout the movie, creating intense tension. Kyungmi’s sad world exists in between of the conflicts. (JUNG Han-Seok)

October 4th (Friday) | MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 7 | 14:00 pm
October 8th (Tuesday) | Busan Cinema Center Cinematheque | 10:30 am
October 9th (Wednesday) | CGV Centum City 3 | 19:00 pm
October 10th (Thursday) | CGV Centum City 5 | 19:30 pm



Light for the Youth

Light for the Youth by Shin Suwon – Korea | 2019 – 114 minutes

A young man (YOON Chanyoung) works at the bond collection call center. He is polite, pure and sincere at a glance. On the other hand, the director of the center (KIM Hojung) is not called to the head office, so he is antsy every day. And she has a daughter (JUNG Hadam) who is having a hard time preparing for a job. Light for the Youth revolves around three people. At the beginning of the movie, the young man and the director of the center seem to meet each other accidentally on the rooftop, a resting place, and easily succeed in communicating regardless of the difference in rank. However, a big incident soon happens to the young man who visited a house to collect bonds, and the situation quickly falls into a state of thrill and tragedy. Director SHIN Soowon takes on the relationships and conflicts of characters in a tense manner, raising the whole of the unrest lurking in this society. (JUNG Han-Seok)

October 4th (Friday) | Lotte Cinema Centum City 5 | 20:00 pm
October 5th (Saturday) | Lotte Cinema Daeyoung 3 | 19:30 pm
October 11th (Friday) | CGV Centum City 2 | 13:00 pm



Lingua Franca

Lingua Franca by Isabel Sandoval – Philippines, USA | 2019 – 95 minutes

The third feature film by Isabel SANDOVAL continues to deliver social messages provocatively. The audience can observe her growth as a director and lead actress. A Filipino immigrant woman is working as a caregiver to a Russian-Jewish old lady. Although she has to keep supporting her family in the Philippines, her existence in the US is being threatened by ever strengthening immigration control. She has tried to get a fake wedding spending thousands of dollars, but it doesn’t seem very promising soon.

One day, the old lady’s prodigal grandson returns home. Thanks to his dark past, even his family doesn’t give him full trust, yet provides a job opportunity. In spite of different races, background and mother tongue, both sexually active woman and man eventually fall in each other. The man wants to know everything about the woman, and the woman wants to pioneer her own life. Their relationship must answer the questions thrown by the great barrier of the truth and reality. (PARK Sungho)

October 8th (Tuesday) | MEGABOX Jangsan Haeundae 1 | 14:00 pm
October 9th (Wednesday) | Lotte Cinema Centum City 10 | 13:00 pm
October 10th (Thursday) | CGV Centum City 6 | 17:00 pm
October 11th (Friday) | CGV Centum City Starium | 13:00 pm




This article is split into 4 parts to see the other parts go here: PART 1PART 3PART 4
You may also be interest in knowing the 10 documentaries we selected for the Busan. To see the article please go here: Busan Docs 2019.

For more information about the programme please visit the official website of the festival: Busan International Film Festival

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