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15 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 15th Five Flavours Asian Film Festival

These are fifteen films you shouldn’t miss at the 15th Five Flavours Asian Film Festival which will take place online from November 17th – 29th and in Warsaw from November 17th – 24th, 2021.

About the festival:
Five Flavours Asian Film Festival is a showcase of the cinema from South and Southeast Asia, happening every year in Warsaw, the most diverse place in Poland, with big cultural agenda and historical heritage.

– Selected Films –

A Balance by Yujiro Harumoto – Japan | 2020 – 153 minutes

Documentary director Yuko is putting together a piece about bereaved families connected to a bullied schoolgirl’s suicide that happened three years earlier. Determined to shed light on the truth, Yuko’s uncompromising nature brings her into conflict with conservative-minded management at her documentary’s television network, but she succeeds in getting her interview subjects to emerge from their shells and place their trust in her. (TFF 2021)

Screening Dates:
November 17th, 2021 | Wednesday | Kinoteka 1 | 17:00 pm
November 23rd, 2021 | Tuesday | Kinoteka 1 | 20:30 pm
Available online from November 17th until 29th, 2021

Trailer:

Alifu, the prince/ss by Wang Yu-lin – Taiwan | 2017 – 97 minutes

Alifu, a young hairdresser from Paiwan tribe, struggles between having a sex-change surgery and inheriting his father’s title as the chief. Pei-zhen, a lesbian, is his best friend. Sherry, a trans woman, owns a drag queen bar. Chris keeps his drug use secret from his girlfriend. Between different genders and problems, the only common ground is love. (TFF 2017)

Screening Dates:
November 18th, 2021 | Thursday | Muranów | 17:45 pm
November 21st, 2021 | Sunday | Muranów | 18.30 pm
Available online from November 17th until 29th, 2021

Trailer:

Blue by Keisuke Yoshida – Japan | 2021 – 107 minutes

Yoshida Keisuke is known for realistically depicting the light and shade of human nature. He wrote this screenplay based on his experience of boxing which he has done for over 30 years (TIFF 2021).

Screening Dates:
November 20th, 2021 | Saturday | Kinoteka 3 | 21:30 pm
November 23rd, 2021 | Tuesday | Kinoteka 2 | 18:00 pm
Available online from November 17th until 29th, 2021

Trailer:

Born to be human by Lily Ni – Taiwan | 2021 – 105 minutes

A 14-year-old boy Yang Shi-Nan is diagnosed as Disorders of Sex Development, usually known as intersex, and has to undergo “sex reassignment surgery” before moving to a new city with her/his parents. Can Yang Shi-Lan/Yang Shi- Nan truly embrace her/his transformation? (KFF 2021)

Screening Dates:
November 19th, 2021 | Friday | Kinoteka 2 | 15:15 pm
November 24th, 2021 | Wednesday | Kinoteka 1 | 18:00 pm
Available online from November 17th until 29th, 2021

Trailer:

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

Dear Tenant subverts the cliches of its genre so brilliantly that it would be a mortal sin to give away anything more than a brief idea of the plot. Chien-yi has been Ms. Chou’s tenant for five years: he does the cooking, takes care of her and accompanies her grandson to school. When his landlady dies, her son discovers that she has left her apartment to Chien-yi. But when narcotics are found in Ms. Chou’s blood, suspicions begin to arise. (Udine Far East Film Festival 2021)

Screening Dates:
November 20th, 2021 | Saturday | Kinoteka 2 | 18:30 pm
November 21st, 2021 | Sunday | Kinoteka 1 | 10:00 am
Available online from November 17th until 29th, 2021

Trailer:

Eternal Summer by Leste Chen – Taiwan | 2006 – 96 minutes

A perfectly composed melodrama about three young people experiencing the passions of love for the first time. Jonathan and Shane have been friends since they were kids and the teacher put the top student and the little rebel together to help the latter in his studies. As teenagers, they meet Carrie, who has just moved from Taiwan to Hong Kong. The girl is drawn to Jonathan, but he is struggling to admit to himself that his heart belongs to Shane.

This touching story about true friendships, painful loneliness, and discovering unwanted feelings that can change your life became one of the most iconic LGBTIQ+ films in Chinese-language cinema. It was not the first film about a boy’s feelings for his friend, but the summer aura and the atmosphere ripe with emotions that the filmmakers managed to create has successfully seduced the audiences in Taiwan and beyond. The nostalgic look at the last high school moments, the torture of a hidden feeling, and the fear of rejection – it has all the necessary elements of a teenage romance, enclosed in captivating frames and completed with atmospheric music.

For the 15th anniversary of the premiere, the film was restored and digitized so that the next generations can freely discover its charm. (Jagoda Murczyńska)

Screening Dates:
November 18th, 2021 | Thursday | Kinoteka 2 | 15:15 pm
November 21st, 2021 | Sunday | Kinoteka 1 | 21:15 pm
Available online from November 17th until 29th, 2021

Trailer:

Fighter by Jero Yun – South Korea | 2020 – 103 minutes

After a few months, Jina has finished an adaptation course for refugees from North Korea and can finally start looking for her own place in the South Korean society. But the new reality is not easy, people are not friendly, and her job does not pay enough – Jina wants to bring her father to the South, too. She finds a part-time job as a cleaner in a gym where rich women are learning to box. She does not expect that sport can become her chance to fulfill her plans and a space to express the emotions she is hiding deep inside.

“Fighter” is not a typical sports film – there is no pompous music or spectacular, last-second wins. It is a powerful, realistic portrait of a woman fighting for her life – literally. The success of the film would not be possible without the touching role of Lim Sung-mi (known to all viewers of “Crash Landing On You”), awarded at the festival in Pusan. Jina is not immune to the hits, but she has enough strength and character to retaliate with even more power. (Marcin Krasnowolski)

Screening Dates:
November 18th, 2021 | Thursday | Muranów | 15:00 pm
November 20th, 2021 | Saturday | Kinoteka 3 | 18:45 pm
Available online from November 17th until 29th, 2021

Trailer:

Not in this world by Park Jung-bum – South Korea | 2019 – 166 minutes

Ji-soo is rapping on a small square. He is letting out her loneliness, anger and aversion for arduous, pointless physical labor in her father’s manufacture, where all days are exactly the same. She meets with a lack of understanding, the people passing by ignore her – except for one person. Jung-cheol, played by the director, leads a solitary life in the mountains, but there is something about the girl’s voice that attracts him. Frustration and loneliness push them towards rebellion – a thorny path through the dark alleys of the Korean society. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? And is there any hope for Ji-soo after she crosses over to the side of violence and lawlessness?

Park once again focuses on young protagonists, lacking parental love and care, who are thrown out by the merciless system, and the only thing they can do is fight for survival with everything they’ve got. Park’s uncompromising, straight-shooting film is the perfect postscript for the Parasites section of the 14th edition of Five Flavours. (Marcin Krasnowolski)

Screening Dates:
November 18th, 2021 | Thursday | Kinoteka 2 | 20:30 pm
November 21st, 2021 | Sunday | Kinoteka 3 | 20:45 pm
Available online from November 17th until 29th, 2021

Trailer:

Spring Tide by Yang Lina – China | 2019 – 123 minutes

Three generations of women in modern China. Guo, a journalist trying to write interventionist reportages under the increasing unfavorable circumstances, still living in her family home. Her daughter, entering the era of adolescence. And her mother, who makes up for the years of hardships and dysfunctional relationship in her autumn years, not missing any opportunity to criticize her adult daughter and her life choices.

A plot thick with emotion, a phenomenal psychology, and an incredibly realistic portrait of toxic bonds that cannot be broken, even though they leave deep wounds. Lina Yang, director and documentary filmmaker, has a unique talent for observation – her heroines are very ambiguous, filled with vices as well as the strength necessary to survive under adverse circumstances and to live on their own terms.

Yang puts a lot of powerful observations about intergenerational relations in modern China into the dynamic family triangle – the parents who survived the Cultural Revolution and the times of the deepest economic hardships, the generation of the 1970s and 1980s that grew up in the times of the rapid modernization, and the so-called youth of today, equipped with completely new opportunities, but also the baggage of family traumas they are not fully aware of. (Jagoda Murczyńska)

Screening Date:
November 21st, 2021 | Sunday | Kinoteka 2 | 18:15 pm
November 24th ,2021 | Wednesday | Muranów | 15:00 pm
Available online from November 17th until 29th, 2021

Trailer:

The Medium by Banjong Pisanthanakun – South Korea, Thailand | 2021 – 131 minutes

It’s never a good idea to dig too deep into the world of shamanism. And that’s exactly what a documentary crew does in Northern Thailand, where it discovers a girl whose strange behaviors apparently stem from the lineage of the shamans. The Medium delves into the legacy of a shaman from the Isan region in an exercise that blends horror and lore, and is produced by Korean thriller king Na Hong-jin (SITGES 2021).

Screening Dates:
November 19th, 2021 | Friday | Kinoteka 2 | 20:45 pm

Trailer:

The Silent Forest by Ko Chen-nien – Taiwan | 2020 – 103 minutes

A hearing-impaired boy transfers to a school for children with special needs. But his excitement about blending into a new environment immediately turns into fear when he witnesses the reality happening in the school (IMDb).

Screening Dates:
November 20th, 2021 | Saturday | Kinoteka 2 | 10:15 am
November 21st, 2021 | Sunday | Kinoteka 2 | 15:30 pm
Available online from November 17th until 29th, 2021

Trailer:

The Way we keep dancing by Adam Wong – Hong Kong | 2020 – 129 minutes

The Kowloon Industrial District is home to many of Hong Kong artists, including rapper Heyo, YouTuber Ah Leung, rising star Hana and Dave the dancer. However, the government is preparing the area for gentrification. The group from The Way We Dance are invited to participate in a publicity stunt to transform the district into a “Dance Street”. Meanwhile, Heyo’s master Afuc is planning a revolution.. (IMDb)

Screening Dates:
November 20th, 2021 | Saturday | Kinoteka 1 | 16:00 pm
November 24th, 2021 | Wednesday | Kinoteka 1 | 20:30 pm
Available online from November 17th until 29th, 2021

Trailer:

Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash by Edwin
Indonesia, Singapore, Germany | 2021 – 114 minutes

Ajo Kawir is a known bully who doesn’t take crap from anyone. And yet, everyone knows that there is one battlefield he always fails at – the bedroom. One of his shady dealings leads him to Iteung, a girl who will kick his ass and blow him away for good. But the path they embark on together will turn to be very bumpy.

This rock’n’roll, comic book-style plot dazzles with the dynamic action, leading the viewer straight into the retro nostalgia for the 80s and a bitter-sweet story about love, sacrifice, and a masculinity in crisis. The last theme particularly sets Edwin’s film apart from the fashionable productions going back to that era. Aside from nods to Indonesian, Hong Kong and American pop cultures of the decade, we see stories about men stuck in models that they can get nothing out of and that don’t do anyone any good. This daring adaptation of one of the most popular Indonesian novels in the country and abroad is also a set of more or less obvious comments on the conduct of the authorities and the social problems eating up the country and overshadowing the education of future generations. (Jagoda Murczyńska)

Screening Dates:
November 18th, 2021 | Thursday | Kinoteka 1 | 18:00 pm
November 24th, 2021 | Wednesday | Muranów | 20:30 pm

Trailer:

We are champions by Chang Jung-chi – Taiwan | 2019 – 118 minutes

Born into the bottom rungs of society, two teenage brothers with nothing but each other hope to change their fate through their love of basketball. Little brother Tung-hao joins an elite school and transforms into a dazzling superstar; big brother Hsiu-yu ends up on a ragtag squad about to be disbanded, finding an unexpected new brotherhood in his never-say-die teammates. Eventually, the brothers cross paths on their way to ultimate basketball glory – the HBL championship – where they will discover that some things are more important than winning. (IMDb)

Screening Dates:
November 20th, 2021 | Saturday | Kinoteka 3 | 13:00 pm
November 24th, 2021 | Wednesday | Kinoteka 2 | 18:15 pm
Available online from November 17th until 29th, 2021

Trailer:

Wife of a Spy by Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Japan | 2020 – 116 minutes

A Japanese merchant who leaves his wife behind in order to travel to Manchuria, where he witnesses an act of barbarism. His subsequent actions cause misunderstanding, jealousy and legal problems for his wife.

Screening Dates:
November 18th, 2021 | Thursday | Kinoteka 1 | 15:00 pm
November 20th, 2021 | Saturday | Kinoteka 1 | 21:45 pm
Available online from November 17th until 29th, 2021

Trailer:

For more information about the festival please go to: https://www.piecsmakow.pl

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