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10 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 3rd Pyeongchang International Peace Film Festival

These are ten films you shouldn’t miss at the 3rd Pyeongchang International Peace Film Festival which will take place from June 17th – 22nd, 2021 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

About the festival:
The PyeongChang International Peace Film Festival aims to create a peace mood in Korean Peninsula through cultural exchange and encourage to make films with themes of peace, coexistence and prosperity by supporting competitive sections.

Selected Films:

9 Days in Raqqa by Xavier De Lauzanne – France | 2020 – 88 minutes
Section: POV: On the Road

Leila Mustapha is a Syrian woman of Kurdish origin. Raqqa, the former capital of the Islamic State with 300,000 inhabitants, is now left in ruins following a civil war. An engineer by training who became the city’s mayor at the age of 30, Leila is committed to the mission of rebuilding the city and establishing democracy. French writer Marine de Tilley has nine days with Leila to tell her story in a book. Staying with the mayor for nine days in the still dangerous city, Tilley joins her extraordinary journey towards the future of the city and of the new generations who will live in it. This film takes a different path from many other documentaries set in Raqqa, which mostly focus on exposing the ISIS atrocities. The young female mayor faces an uphill battle in her efforts to rebuild the city known as the land of blood and slaughter and the site of egregious human rights violations into a home for ordinary people. The film portrays the challenges she has to endure and her big dreams through the eyes of an outsider. (PIPFF 2021)

Schedule:
June 18th, 2021 | Friday | Alpensia Cinema | 20:30 pm
June 20th, 2021 | Sundayt | Alpensia Concert Hall | 18:30 pm

Trailer:

A Balance by Harumoto Yujiro – Japan | 2020 – 152 minutes
Section: Spectrum

Yuko is making a documentary film about a sexual harassment scandal involving a teacher-student relationship and suicides. She is also helping her father Masashi run a private cram school on weekends. While interviewing the bereaved families, she witnesses how their lives have been ruined beyond repair. Yuko is acquainted with Mei, a new student at her father’s institution, and uncovers a shocking truth that involves her father. Starting off as an outsider tracking down the truth about a crime against youth, a confused and dazed Yuko soon finds herself standing at the epicenter of more chaotic events. The film is intentional in giving ambiguity to all the characters. While delaying judgment between multi-layered truth and lies about alleged sexual violence, the film directs an uncomfortable question at the audience. (PIPFF 2021)

Schedule:
June 19th, 2021 | Saturday | Eoulmadang | 11:00 am
June 21st, 2021 | Monday | Eoulmadang | 19:30 pm

Trailer:

Along the Sea by Fujimoto Akio – Japan, Vietnam | 2020 – 88 minutes
Section: International Feature Competition

Three young Vietnamese women, Phuong, An and Nhu, enter Japan as technical trainees. They grow tired of enduring the long working hours and small pay at the factory and decide to flee. A broker finds them a new job in a remote fishing village. The girls get excited about the prospect of making more money to send to their families. A crack develops in their relationship when Phuong is found to be pregnant with the child of her boyfriend back home. The film takes a delicate, poetic approach in following the young girls’ endeavors to secure better conditions of life. At the same time, using the fragile body and soul of youth as central object, the movie exposes the harsh reality migrant workers are often forced to bear with, in which a humble wish for a better life can just disappear into thin air. (PIPFF 2021)

Schedule:
June 18th, 2021 | Friday | Eoulmadang | 14:00 pm
June 20th, 2021 | Sunday | Alpensia Cinema | 17:30 pm

Trailer:

Human Factors by Ronny Trocker – Germany, Italy, Denmark | 2021 – 102 minutes
Section: International Feature Competition

Jan and Nina are an upper-class couple running an advertising company together while raising two kids. The family decides to spend a weekend at their coastal vacation home. Soon after their arrival, a break-in of the house by mysterious intruders occurs, rattling the family. Nina also learns that Jan has accepted a political campaign deal without consulting her, and grows distrustful of him. Tension builds up, and mistrust begins to creep into a seemingly picture-perfect family. Using a non-linear narrative, the film weaves conflicting perspectives of each of the family members to reconstruct a dubious incident. In doing so, it does not fail to capture the tiniest crack emerging within the clan and present them with a delicate nonchalance. The result is a cleverly unsettling piece exuding an inimitable chilling vibe reminiscent of Michael Haneke’s psychological suspense dramas. (PIPFF 2021)

Schedule:
June 19th, 2021 | Saturday | Eoulmadang | 14:30 pm
June 21st, 2021 | Monday | Alpensia Cinema | 11:00 am

Trailer:

Kim Min-young of the Report Card by Lee Jae-eun, Lim Jisun – Korea | 2021 – 94 minutes
Section: International Feature Competition

Jeonghee, Minyoung and Susanna are high-school best buddies and members of the self-made literary club for “3-line” mini poems. Post-graduation, they pursue different courses of life. Jeonghee, having chosen not to proceed to college, works part-time at a tennis club in her hometown of Cheongjoo. When she gets fired, she visits Minyoung, who is in Seoul for the summer preparing a college transfer. There is an apparent gap developing between the girls’ two different worlds, making their relationship a bit awkward. What you can expect is not your average rites-of-passage movie. It is far from stereotypical in portraying how the young adults are coping as they step out into society, thanks to a directing that highlights both whimsical and serious aspects of it. Jeonghee, who refuses to take a typical route in life, hands a carefully-written report card to Minyoung, who appears exhausted from trying to fit in, before she leaves. It is a fresh account of the youthful days when the border between dreams and reality was blurry and becoming a typical adult seemed like a really bad idea. (PIPFF 2021)

Schedule:
June 18th, 2021 | Friday | Alpensia Cinema | 17:30 pm
June 20th, 2021 | Sunday | Eoulmadang | 17.30 pm

Trailer:

Song Hae 1927 by Jero Yun – Korea | 2021 – 82 minutes
Section: Spectrum

People adore him and call him a “national MC.” One of the most familiar faces from TV, Mr. Song has been a household name for so long that it almost doesn’t feel right to put him in the place of a documentary subject. But Song Hae 1927 does just that. It follows the beloved host of the long-running TV show, “National Singing Contest”, shedding light on the lesser-known side of the star and his life. Does he have a particularly resonating story to share? The answer is yes. Through a multi-layered approach, the film reveals the grieving side of him we did not know existed. Starting out as a comedian then crossing to radio show host, singer and actor, he sure has led a versatile career. Find out more about the real-life story of the veteran entertainer in this film, in which director Jero YUN’s in-depth study of the character truly shines. (PIPFF 2021)

Schedule:
June 18th, 2021 | Friday | Olympic Medal Plaza | 19:00 pm
June 19th, 2021 | Saturday | Training Center | 16:30 pm

Trailer:

The Bike Thief by Matt Chambers – UK | 2020 – 79 minutes
Section: International Feature Competition

A London man makes a living delivering pizza on his bike in the evening hours. He has a wife who works as a housemaid – secretly bringing their infant son to work – and a teen daughter. His bicycle disappears one day, putting him in the danger of losing his job unless he finds it before his night shift. Wife loses her cleaning job for sneaking in a baby, which adds to the man’s frustration. Desperate, he makes a plan to steal a two-wheeler with some neighborhood boys. The film takes a motif from the neorealist classic The Bicycle Thieves by Vittorio De Sica. The lost bike signals the beginning of misfortune that pushes the working class family into a pit of despair, and the bike rider’s moral codes are tested as he falls prey to a crime. The tribulations he goes through demand a closer look at the broader social context he is in – rather than being a single person’s plight, the situation attests to the dark side of capitalism. (PIPFF 2021)

Schedule:
June 19th, 2021 | Saturday | Eoulmadang | 20:30 pm
June 21st, 2021 | Monday | Alpensia Cinema | 13: 0pm

Trailer:

The Day I Died: Unclosed Case by Park Ji-wan – Korea | 2020 – 116 minutes
Section: Spectrum K

A girl named Sejin falls off a cliff on a remote island. Detectvive Hyunsoo is sent to the island to close the case as a suicide. As the investigation progresses, she learns more about the life Sejin led. Increasingly identifying herself with Sejin, she looks back on her own life and gets closer to the truth surrounding her case. At the end of the investigation, she asks herself, “So where did she go?” The one who gives the answer is Suncheondaek, a mute islander. The Day I Died: Unclosed Case is a powerful psychological drama starring three actresses: KIM Hye-soo, LEE Jeong-eun, and ROH Jeong-eui. On the surface, the film seems like a genre film that uncovers a mystery through a police investigation. But its real focus is on the different layers of emotions revealed in the process—compassion, anger, pain, and consolation. Director PARK Ji-wan presents a dynamic mix of emotions behind the story and delivers a glimmer of hope through Suncheondaek. This film presents the perfect combination of the power of fine acting and the sensitive directing of the director. (PIPFF 2021)

Schedule:
June 19th, 2021 | Saturday | Alpensia Cinema | 13:30 pm

Trailer:

Under the Open Sky by Nishikawa Miwa – Japan | 2020 – 126 minutes
Section: Spectrum

Having served 13 years in prison for manslaughter, Mikami, a one time yakuza, decides to appear on a TV show to find his long-lost mother who abandoned him in an orphanage, allowing documentary filmmaker Tsunoda to shoot his life. Mikami tries to find a job while living on social welfare but struggles to land one, due to his criminal conviction record. Thanks to the kindness of many ordinary people around him, he slowly starts to open his heart. This human drama raises complex questions about what it means to belong. Yakusho Koji delivers a masterful performance as the middle-aged pariah seeking appreciation and a place to belong to. The joys and sorrows, triumphs and disasters of those living on the fringe of society are depicted, often with warmth, other times with coldness, suggesting how it is in our nature to hurt – and then heal – each other. (PIPFF 2021)

Schedule:
June 19th, 2021 | Saturday | Eoulmadang | 17:30 pm
June 21st, 2021| Monday | Training Center | 11:00 am

Trailer:

Wendy by Benh Zeitlin – USA | 2020 – 111 minutes
Section: International Feature Competition

Wendy, Douglas and James live with their mother who runs a diner by the railroad. Through her window, Wendy spots a boy riding on the roof of a passing train. One night, Wendy is lured to follow the boy, with her siblings in tow. The boy introduces himself as Peter and guides them to a mysterious island where children rule. Ben Zeitlin, whose sensational debut feature Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) won numerous awards, including the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, spent eight years working on his sophomore piece. With Wendy as the central protagonist, the movie comes as a mash-up of an original interpretation of the all-time classic and Zeitlin’s own naturalistic vision. Featuring stunning visuals and brilliant acting by the children, the film is a quirky fairy tale with a far-out twist, reminiscent of Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, that is the fruit of Zeitlin’s unique talent. (PIPFF 2021)

Schedule:
June 19th, 2021 | Friday | Alpensia Cinema | 17:30 pm
June 21st, 2021 | Monday | Eoulmadang | 11:00 am

Trailer:

For more information please go to: http://pipff.org/eng

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