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100 Asian Films from 2020 (Part 2)

I continue with my favorite 100 Asian films from 2020. Enjoy!

About:
This year the “100 Asian Films” list will be divided into 5 articles. Please bear in mind that these are the films I discovered in 2020 so there could be productions from 2019. You can find the whole list in the “100 Asian Films” section on the main menu (HERE). I hope you like my selection. Please feel free to share these articles with your cinephiles friends and leave a comment below. Thanks – Sebastián Nadilo

Other parts of this list:
PART 1
PART 3

PART 4
PART 5

Selected Films:

Come and Go by Lim kah Wai – Japan, Malaysia | 2020 – 158 minutes

A Korean girl at a party disguisedly as a porno actress. An overly ambitious Nepalese man. A Vietnamese far from home. An Okinawa-born filmmaker in debt. A non-stop ensemble film about people surviving in Osaka. (TIFF 2020)

Trailer:

Comfort by Park Emmanuel Monnchil – South Korea | 2020 – 73 minutes

KIM Soonak is a survivor of sex slavery by the Japanese military. The war may have ended, but her life was still at a war. She lived in the prostitute quarters to survive, did sex business in the US military camp town, and peddled goods from the US military. She raised two kids on her own as she worked as a maid. We’ll listen to her story in her absence. The film reconstructs the life story of the deceased KIM Soonak with interviews with activists, archive videos, animation, and read-aloud testimony. (Seoul International Women’s Film Festival)

Trailer:

Company Retreat Atsushi Funahashi  Japan 2020 135 minutes

A woman working as a hotel receptionist is harassed by her superior. This docu-fiction shows that sexual harassment affects not only the victim and the perpetrator, but everyone around them. (TIFF 2020)

Cry by Watanabe Hirobumi – Japan | 2019 – 75 minutes

The latest unique human drama from Hirobumi and Yuji Watanabe portrays, in black and white and without words, a man who lives with his aging grandmother and works silently in a pigpen. (TIFF 2019)

Trailer:

Days by Tsai Ming Liang – Taiwan | 2020 – 127 minutes

Under the pain of illness and treatment, Kang finds himself living the life of a drifter. He meets Non in a foreign land. They find consolation in each other before parting ways and carrying on with their days. (TGHFF 2020)

Trailer:

Dear Tenant by Cheng Yu-chieh – Taiwan | 2020 – 106 minutes

For the past five years, Lin has been looking after his elderly landlady, Mrs. Chou and her grandson since it’s his way of remembering someone. When Mrs. Chou passes away, her son Li-gang returns from overseas and discovers that Mrs. Chou’s property is passed on to her grandson, who has been adopted by Lin. Li-gang accuses Lin of killing his mother. As the investigation continues, more and more evidence mounts against Lin…. (TGHFF 2020)

Trailer:

Death of Nintendo by Raya Martin – Philippines, US | 2020 – 99 minutes

In the summer of 1991, Paolo, a 13-year-old boy with an overprotective mother, cannot play video games any more due to a nationwide blackout following a series of earthquakes. He and his friends wandering the streets with nothing to do, are beaten by the US military and decide to circumcise to prove that they are grown up too. To spend time with a girl in the neighborhood that he is fond of, he plans on going to a ghost-catching trip despite the opposition of his mother. Director Raya Martin’s previous shorts and feature films have been invited to prestige festivals such as Cannes and won awards. His latest feature film Death of Nintendo has a very personal touch, yet contains social messages. (Park Sungho)

Trailer:

Don’t forget the kids by Sumita Yasushi – Japan | 2019 – 106 minutes

The movie reminds the old wisdom that the adults should be responsible to their kids’ problems. Sadao, Yoichi’s dad drives for on-site masseuses. What he earns is not enough for him to spend on drinking and gambling. He borrows money from here and there. He does not feed his kid, let alone not paying for school. Tatsuro sexually abuses his step daughter Yukina, while his wife Taeko deliberately ignores the problem. Yukina works for on-site massage job and Yoichi is bullied at school. However, the kids’ problems, compared to those of their adult parents, seem rather minor. The film is co-produced by TERAWAKI Ken, who worked for the Agency for Culture Affairs of Japan, and MAEKAWA Kihei, who was a vice minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. They reveal terrible problems that kids can be exposed to in the Japanese society. [Moon Seok] (Jeonju International Film Festival)

Dust and Ashes by Park Hee-kwon – South Korea | 2019 – 79 minutes

An unknown face of Hae-su. On her way from the factory, she calls someone who doesn’t answer. She doesn’t answer a call from someone. She is planning a funeral for her mother who died suspiciously. All these people, questions, and stares. While her anxiety grows, can she keep her secret plan?

Trailer:

Dust-Man by Kim Na-kyung – Korea | 2020 – 92 minutes

Taysan, a young homeless man in dust-riddled Seoul, begins a series of illustrations over dusty surfaces. Through his Dust Art, Taysan starts the process of recovery from the pains of his past. (SIFF 2020)

Eternally Younger Than Those idiots by Ryohei Yoshino – Japan | 2020 – 118 minutes

Horigai spends her boring days waiting to graduate from college. As she hangs out with friends, she begins to realize the violence and sorrow behind their ordinary lives. (TIFF 2020)

Trailer:

Everglow by So Joonmoon – South Korea | 2020 – 95 minutes

Jeju is an enviable island to everyone, but we cannot forget the deep pain that exists. Over half a century ago, tens of thousands were slaughtered under the specter of ideology; only a few years ago, in April, so many students were buried in our hearts without arriving on this beautiful island. Everglow begins with the cute struggle of Kyung-hoon (Ji Hyun-woo), who visited Jeju to make a documentary about Jin-ok (Ko Doo-sim), a female diver. Kyunghoon’s work becomes a sincere mission for the souls buried in the deep sea and mountains. Despite the relaxed plot, the film imprints brilliant moments by showing Jin-ok and Kyung-hoon, who embrace their pain in a bitter and thoughtful manner. The film bravely captures these fine characters. (Hong Eunmi)

Extro by Murahashi Naoki – Japan | 2019 – 88 minutes

Hilarious mockumentary about an elderly extra and the ins and outs of a film set. Starting as a realistic, dryly comic portrait, this movie slowly becomes increasingly bizarre. Extro has everything it takes to become a genuine cult classic including a guest appearance by the recently deceased cult director OBAYASHI Nobuhiko (Hausu) (Camera Japan Festival 2020).

Trailer:

Fan Girl by Antoinette Jadaone – Philippines | 2020 – 100 minutes

Eagerly awaited new film by Jadaone, whose Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay won Eiga Hiho magazine’s best TIFF 2019 film. A starstruck girl sneaks into an actor’s house and sees a horrifying truth. (TIFF 2020)

Trailer:

Fear(less) and Dear by Anson Hoi Shan Mak – Hong Kong | 2020 – 106 minutes

A woman is giving a performance titled “Egging, with 1,000 eggs” in a plaza. This performance of breaking eggs on her own body doesn’t seem to attract people’s attention for long. However, when the phrase “help the future generation to throw eggs at myself for my inability to protect our home” is raised, the true meaning of the performance arises. Director Mak depicts the anxieties and fears that the people are experiencing in this period of political turmoil in Hong Kong. The Umbrella Revolution, the Extradition Bill Protest, the COVID-19 Pandemic, art, parenting, and the hopes and fears of people in Hong Kong are interestingly reflected through characters in the film. Fear(less) and Dear is a private, yet social, essay film that adopted an unconventional experimental form. (Kang Sowon)

Trailer:

Fighter by Jero Yun – Korea | 2020 – 103 minutes

After a few months of social adjustment training, the North Korean refugee Jina moves to a small flat in Seoul and starts her new life. To bring her father to South Korea, she needs money but no matter how hard she works, the discrimination doesn’t let her save enough money. One day the broker introduces her to a boxing gym cleaning job. Seeing young and confident female boxers, Jina feels something burning inside. (SIFF 2020)

Trailer:

Forgiven Children by Eisuke Naito – Japan | 2020 – 131 minutes

While fooling around with a self-made crossbow, Kira accidentally kills his classmate Itsuki. For lack of evidence, the young student is found innocent. However, his trial is widely covered by the mass media, and the following uproar from society won’t leave his family untouched. Based on the question “How would I react to my child commiting a crime?”, Eisuke Naito repeatedly switches angles from youth to parenthood, creating a bleak and compelling drama that blurs the borders between perpetrator and victim. (Nippon Connection 2020)

Trailer:

Fukuoka by Zhang Lu – Korea | 2020 – 85 minutes

Back in college, Jea-moon and Hae-hyo were bosom buddies, but their friendship foundered when they both fell in love with the same woman, Soon-yi. 28 years later, Jea-moon, now the owner of a second-hand bookshop in Seoul, travels to Japan to meet his onetime friend, who runs a bar in Fukuoka. He is accompanied by his enchanting young neighbour So-dam, who suggested the meeting in the first place. But in Fukuoka, the traumatic conflict of a long-buried past gradually implodes … Zhang Lu’s smooth camerawork explores the marvellous locations just as delicately as he does the souls of his protagonists. Fukuoka is a quietly amusing film about the ability to let go. – Berlin International Film Festival

Trailer:

Genus Pan by Lav Diaz – Philippines | 2020 – 157 minutes

Three illegal miners traversed the sea, the mountains and the forest until they reached their destination. Or did they really reach their cursed place? (TIFF 2020)

Trailer:

Going to School by Kim Jeong-in – Korea | 2020 – 99 minutes

Gongjin Elementary School in Gangseo-gu, Seoul, was shut down due to the dramatic decrease of the number of students. At the end of 2013, the Education Office of Seoul started a project to establish a special-education school, Seojin School, tentatively. But even after about 5 years, its construction hasn’t started yet. Could Seojin School open with all the obstacles? (SIFF 2020)

To see the 1st part of this list go here: PART 1

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