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30 Films you cannot miss at the 7th Asian Film Festival Barcelona (Part 1)

affbaWe present a list of thirty films that you shouldn’t miss at the 7th Asian Film Festival Barcelona which will run from October 30th until November 10th, in Barcelona, Catalonia.

Selected Films:

12 Suicidal Teens

12 Suicidal Teens by Tsutsumi Yukihiko – Japan | 2019 – 117 minutes

Twelve kids preparing a suicide pact in an abandoned hospital discover the body of an unknown boy. As the tension builds, they must ask themselves if there is a murderer among them, and if they can go through with their pact. This riveting thriller addresses the urgent issue of widespread suicide among contemporary teens.

Screening:
November 9th (Saturday) | Cinemes Girona | 22:00 pm

Trailer:

 

 

A Letter to the President

A Letter to the President by Roya Sadat – Afghanistan | 2017 – 83 minutes

Married and the mother of two kids, Soraya finds that her job as head of the Kabul Crime Division is too much for her ineffectual and abusive husband, Karim. When her work leads her to investigate her father-in-law, Karim attacks her and she accidentally kills him. In short order, she is imprisoned and sentenced to death. Will a reasoned recounting of her story in the titular letter change the course of future events?

Screening:
November 9th (Saturday) | Cinemes Girona | 16:00 pm

Trailer:

 

 

Alpha

Alpha, The Right to Kill by Brillante Mendoza – Philippines | 2018 – 94 minutes

Set against the backdrop of the Philippines Government’s crackdown on illegal drugs, a SWAT-led police force launches an operation to arrest Abel, one of the biggest drug lords in Manila. Police Officer Espino and Elijah, a small-time pusher turned informant, provide the intelligence for the operation, which quickly escalates into a violent and heavily-armed confrontation in the slums between the SWAT and Abel’s gang. Before the investigators arrive at the crime scene, Espino and Elijah walk off with Abel’s backpack full of money and methamphetamine. This gesture of survival for one and corruption for the other will soon set off a dangerous series of events, both of them risking their reputations, families and lives in the process.

Screening:
November 9th (Saturday) | Cinemes Girona | 22:00 pm

Trailer:

 

 

And Your Bird Can Sing

And Your Bird Can Sing by Sho Miyake – Japan | 2018 – 107 minutes

Miyake Sho’s naturalistic and quietly illuminating film portrays the aimless youth drift towards love and maturity. Emoto Tasuku stars as an unnamed protagonist whose lazy worldview is subtly challenged when his girlfriend, Sachiko, meets his unemployed roommate, Shizuo. Based on a 1982 novel by the late Sato Yasushi, whose writing inspired “Sketches of Kaitan City” (2010) and “The Light Shines Only There” (2014), this unhurried comedy-drama captures the idyllic digressions and restless brooding of youth approaching adulthood.

Screening:
November 9th (Saturday) | Cinemes Girona | 20:00 pm

Trailer:

 

 

Journey

Asian Three Fold Mirror 2018: Journey by Edwin, Daishi Matsunaga, Degena Yun
Japan | 2018 – 83 minutes

This omnibus film consists of three films made by three directors from three countries. Each of these films tells about a journey. “The Sea” is a film by Degena Yun (China), telling about mother and child’s trip to the sea from Beijing. “Hekishu”, a film by Daishi Matsunaga (Japan), tells about the journey of a Japanese businessman involved in infrastructure development in Yangon. The last is a film titled “Variable No.3” by Edwin (Indonesia), which tells the story of a couple’s journey to Tokyo.

Screening:
November 6th (Wednesday) | Cinemes Girona | 20:00 pm

Trailer:

 

 

Ave Maryam

Ave Maryam by Robby Ertanto – Indonesia | 2018 – 85 minutes

The story takes place in 1998, in a nursing facility for nuns. Sister Maryam spends her days taking care of the residents, completely devoted to her chores and to God. However, when Yosef, a handsome and liberal pastor arrives at the facility, all things change. What begins with exchanging flirtatious glances on the sly develops into something more serious as Maryam and Yosef find themselves drawn irresistibly to each other. Finally, the Sister finds herself forced to make a choice between staying true to her vow or abandoning everything for the pursuit of personal happiness.

Screening:
October 31st (Thursday) | Cinemes Girona | 11:30 am

Trailer:

 

 

Blue Hour

Blue Hour by Hakota Yuko – Japan | 2019 – 92 minutes

Trapped in her career and love relationship, a 30-year-old TV commercial director returns to her countryside home in the company of a free-spirited girl friend. In a bittersweet reunion with an alienated family, her childhood memories of freedom and yearnings creep in the “blue hour”, transcending into a lyricism of self-realization – at once whimsical, agonizing and yet hopeful.

Screening:
November 9th (Saturday) | Cinemes Girona | 18:00 pm

Trailer:

 

 

BulBulCanSing

Bulbul Can Sing by Rima Das – India | 2018 – 95 minutes

Bulbul is a young girl who lives in a village in India’s Assam state. When she and her two best friends, Bonny and Sumu, begin to define their own identities, they realise that who they want to be and what their community expects them to be are two different things, and find themselves increasingly clashing with the age-old rules set down by the village. Bulbul is attracted to a boy for the first time, but her mother advises that “Girls should be modest. Girls should behave well.” Sumu is bullied for not conforming to what his peers expect of a young man. For Bonny, the pressures of the community become unbearable.

Screening:
November 9th (Saturday) | Cinemes Girona | 18:00 pm

Trailer:

 

 

G Affairs

G Affairs by Lee Cheuk-pan – Hong Kong | 2018 – 105 minutes

Lee Cheuk-pan makes a striking directorial debut with this gripping examination of contemporary Hong Kong and its diverse, desperate society. When a human head is found, the mystery begins to unfold, tying together a troubled student, a sleazy cop, an autistic teenager, a cellist, a prostitute, a teacher, and finally, a dog. Who’s the killer, what’s the motive, and what does the letter “G” have to do with all of this? A creative, twisted, uniquely Hong Kong fable.

Screening:
November 8th (Friday) | Cinemes Girona | 22:00 pm

Trailer:

 

 

Jinpa

Jinpa by Pema Tseden – China | 2019 – 86 minutes

On an isolated road passing through the vast barren plains of Tibet, a truck driver, who has accidentally run over a sheep, chances upon a young man, who is hitching a ride. As they drive and chat, the truck driver notices that his new friend has a silver dagger strapped to his leg. He comes to understand that his man is out to kill someone, who wronged him earlier in life. When their paths separate their short time together has changed everything, and their destinies are inexorably intertwined.

Screening:
November 8th (Friday) | Cinemes Girona | 20:00 pm

Trailer:

 

 

Melancholic

Melancholic by Seiji Tanaka – Japan | 2018 – 113 minutes

Kazuhiko isn’t enjoying his life, despite his degree from a top university. One day, he runs into a high-school classmate, Yuri, at a bathhouse and later starts working there. His discovery that the place is being used for nefarious after-hours activities is bad enough, but then Kazuhiko finds that his colleague Matsumoto is an assassin.

Screening:
November 4th (Monday) | Cinemes Girona | 20:00 pm

Trailer:

 

 

Ms. Purple - Still 1

Ms. Purple by Justin Chon – Korea | 2019 – 87 minutes

“Ms. Purple” is a drama about two Korean American siblings, Kasie and Carey, raised and still living in the bustling Koreatown neighbourhood of Los Angeles. Their mother abandoned them when they were young and they were raised by their father who is now on his death bed. . In a series of flashbacks, we see how a demanding father and an absent mother lay the groundwork for Kasie and Carey’s relationship to each other and towards the world around them. Ultimately this story is about a mending of a relationship between a brother and sister and the regrouping of a family in the final days of their father’s life.

Screening:
November 2nd (Saturday) | Cinemes Girona | 20:00 pm

Trailer:

 

 

My Son Is Gay

My Son Is Gay by Lokesh Kumar – India | 2017 – 105 minutes

Lakshmi is a mother and a no-nonsense school principal. Her life is uncomplicated and safe and she is blissfully unaware of the storm brewing that will threaten everything she believes in. She loves her son Varun, a cheerful and a carefree young man who is devoted to her. Varun always knew he was different from other boys, but felt secure in his mother’s love. That security is shattered when Lakshmi discovers Varun is gay and rejects him. Varun finds love with Karthik, but he will never be as happy as he once was. Finally, Lakshmi can’t bear the loss of her son and sets out to find him.

Screening:
October 31st (Thursday) | Cinemes Girona | 20:00 pm

 

 

Nakorn-Sawan

Nakorn-Sawan by Puangsoi Aksornsawang – Thailand | 2018 – 77 minutes

“Nakorn Sawan”, which literally means “Heaven City” in Thai, is the name of a province north of Bangkok. It is the place where the Ping and Nan rivers merge to form Chao Phraya, the main river running through Bangkok. Believed by many Thais to be the gateway to heaven, it is the place where the characters in the film convene to send their loved one to the afterlife. Weaving together documentary footage of her mother and father—who separated when the director was a young teenager—and a fictionalized narrative performed by young actors, the film is a delicate meditation on love, loss and memory.

Screening:
November 8th (Friday) | Cinemes Girona | 12:00 pm

Trailer:

 

 

To see the second part of this article please go here: PART 2

For more information about the programme please visit the official website of the festival: Asian Film Festival Barcelona

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