5 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 6th East Asia Film Festival Ireland

These are five films you shouldn’t miss at the 6th East Asia Film Festival Ireland (EAFFI) which will take place online and in-cinema from March 31 – April 3, 2022.

The 6th edition of the East Asia Film Festival Ireland (EAFFI) returns both in- cinema and online this year, bringing innovative and inspiring East Asian cinema to IFI screens, online nationwide on IFI@Home, and on tour in venues in Galway, Cork, and Limerick. There’s a rich choice of drama, documentary, Japanese New Wave cinema, and self-reflexive video essay on offer. Great value multi-film bundles include: all 9 films for €80, or 4 films for €40. Tickets are now on sale!

– Selected Films –

Anita by Longman Leung – Hong Kong, China | 2021 – 136 minutes

Longman Leung’s biopic follows legendary Hong Kong pop and movie diva Anita Mui from her child performer days to her death from cervical cancer in 2003, aged only 40. Like Anita herself, the film is brash and bold, but also surprisingly subtle and moving. Newcomer Louise Wong excels as the woman sometimes said to be Hong Kong’s Madonna, but it is the moments of documentary footage that hit home emotionally. In production for several years, Anita went straight to the top of the Hong Kong box office on its release at the end of 2021. It was also a surprise hit in the Mainland. Focusing on her charitable works as well as her entertainment career, the film emphasises that Anita is Hong Kong, and that Anita died too young.  (Chris Berry – EAFFI 2022)

Screening Dates:
April 1, 2022 | Friday | IFI Dublin | 20:20 pm
April 3, 2022 | Sunday | Pálás Glaway | 17:00 pm
April 5, 2022 | Tuesday | Belltable Limerick | 20:00 pm
April 9, 2022 | Saturday | Triskel Cork | 20:00 pm


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

Piano teacher and gay man Jian-Yi Lin (a shining Tzu-Yi Mo) is the tenant of a rooftop apartment owned by the elderly Mrs Chou (Shu-Fang Chen) who is suffering from late-stage diabetes. Jian-Yi is kind-hearted and helps tend to Mrs Chou’s daily needs and looks after her nine-year old grandson, the orphaned Yo- Yu, with whom he shares a special bond. When Mrs Chou dies, her other son who lives abroad returns to Taiwan, and discovers complicated questions of inheritance and guardianship. His mother’s apartment has been transferred to the young Yo-Yu whom Jian-Yi has legally adopted. (Marie-Pierre Richard)

Screening Dates:
April 2, 2022 | Saturday | IFI Dublin | 20:30 pm
Available online from March 31 until April 3 via IFI@HOME


In Front of your Face by Hong Sangsoo – Korea | 2021 – 85 minutes

Sangok (superb Lee Hye-young), a middle-aged former actress who has lived in the United States for some time and has just arrived in Seoul, is staying with her sister. We follow her through 24 hours – waking up after a pleasant dream she goes for coffee and toast with her sister; later she meets a director who saw her in a film in the early 90s and wants to make a new project with her…

Narrative, dialogue, and characters pivot magically in this brilliant character study by South Korean director Hong Sang-soo, a festival favourite. Contemplative, graceful, and often quite hilarious, the closer we zoom in on Sangok’s life, the blurrier she appears, as we are left uncertain what to believe about her. (Marie-Pierre Richard)

Screening Dates:
March 31, 2022 | Thursday | IFI Dublin | 18:30 pm
April 5, 2022 | Tuesday | Belltable Limerick | 17:00 pm
April 9, 2022 | Saturday | Triskel Cork | 18:00 pm


The Real Thing by Koji Fukada – Japan | 2020 – 232 minutes

From his original 10-episode TV series, acclaimed Japanese director Kōji Fukada (Harmonium; A Girl Missing shown at EAFFI 2020) has re-edited a standalone feature – this time a mere four hours!

An adaptation of popular Mochiru Hoshisato’s manga book from the early 2000s, The Mark of Truth, it begins as a traditional romantic melodrama, telling the story of 30-year-old Tsuji (Win Morisaki), who works in a company which sells plastic toys and fireworks. One night, he meets the awkward and erratic Ukiyo (Kaho Tsuchimura) when her car gets stuck on a train track. From then on, Tsuji walks irreversibly into a chain of events, mis-adventures and troubles… possibly on his way to the something ‘real’.

Singular auteur director Kōji Fukada’s frivolous, yet realistic take on themes of imbalance and the conflicts of human nature are aided by the two leads, both of whom provide great naturalistic performances. (Marie-Pierre Richard)

Screening Date:
April 3, 2022 | Sunday | IFI Dublin | 18:30 pm
Available online from March 31 until April 3 via IFI@HOME


White Building by Kavich Neang – Cambodia, France, China, Qatar | 2021 – 90 minutes

The White Building is a decaying, state-owned apartment building which stands in the heart of Phnom Penh, where Samnang (Piseth Chhun) and his parents have lived all their lives. In the face of imminent demolition, the family, along with friends and neighbours are forced to leave, as the area is redeveloped, part of a ‘transformation plan’ for the city.

Homegrown Cambodian director Kavich Neang draws on his personal history to talk about a city being transformed, a community displaced as a result of globalisation. The film addresses spiritual gaps, and cultural tensions between an older generation traumatised by the past, and the young Cambodian population looking toward the future with ambition and hope. (Marie-Pierre Richard)

Screening Dates:
April 2, 2022 | Saturday | IFI Dublin | 16:00 pm
Available online from March 31 until April 3 via IFI@HOME


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