75th Festival de Cannes – Asian Presence

These are the Asian films that will be screened at the Festival de Cannes which will run from May 17 – 28, 2022.

This year two Asian films will be in the Main Competition, “Broker” by Koreeda Hirokazu (Shoplifters [2018], Like Father Like Son [2013]), and Heojil Kyolshim (Decision To Leave) by Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy [2003], The Handmaiden [2016]). At the Un Certain Regard section we have three feature films, Joyland by Saim Sadiq (Pakistan), Plan 75 by Hayakawa Chie a Japanese-french-filipino co production, Retour A Séoul (All the People I’ll Never Be) by Davy Chou (France, Germany, Belgium, Qatar). “Hunt”, the Opera Prima of Lee Jung-Jae – the main actor of Squid Game – will premiere at the Out of Competition section. There will be also a special screening of “All That Breathes” by Shaunak Sen (US, India, UK).

At the Cinéfondation section we will find “Di Er” (Somewhere) by Li Jiahe (China), Feng Zheng (The Silent Whistle) by Li Yingtong (China), and Nauha by Pratham Khurana (India). At the Short Films Section there will be screenings of “Gakjil” (Persona) by Sujin Moon (South Korea), “Hai Bian Sheng Qi Yi Zuo Xuan Ya” (The Water Murmurs) by Jianying Chen (China), Lori (Melancholy of My Mother’s Lullabies) by Abinash Bikram Shah (Nepal), “Po Sui Tai Yang Zhi Xin” (A Short Story) by Bi Gan (China), and “Same Old” by Lloyd Lee Choi (US). Finally there will be three restorations, Thamp (The Circus Tent) by Aravindan Govindan (India), “Itim” by Mike De Leon (Philippines), and “Pratidwandi” (The Adversary) by Satyajit Ray (India).

Note: our coverage of Asia is East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Films In Competition

Broker by Koreeda Hirokazu – South Korea | 2022 – 129 minutes
Cast: Lee Joo Young, Gang Dong Won, Song Kang-Ho, Lee Ji Eun, Bae Doo Na

One rainy night, a baby is left at the baby box facility. Sang-hyun and Dong-soo secretly take it home. However, the next day, So-young unexpectedly returns, looking for her baby Woo-sung. She decides to call the police when she finds out that her boy is missing. The two men’s explanation that they took him to find suitable parents willing to adopt him is hard to believe, but with nowhere left to go, she decides to join their mission to find new parents for her boy.

Meanwhile, the police detective Su-jin and her subordinate Detective LEE have been investigating the case for the past 6 months, waiting for the decisive moment when they can catch the duo in act.

This group of people, brought together by a baby box, set off on a journey that will lead to destinations they never expected. (Cannes 2022)


Heojil Kyolshim (Decision To Leave) by Park Chan-Wook – South Korea | 2022 – 138 minutes

A man falls from a mountain peak to his death. The detective in charge, Hae-joon (PARK Hae-il), comes to meet the dead man’s wife Seo-rae (TANG Wei).

“I worry when he does not come back from a mountain, thinking he might die at last.”

Seo-rae does not show any signs of agitation at her husband’s death. With her behavior so unlike that of a grieving relative, the police consider her a suspect. Hae-joon interrogates Seo-rae, and while observing her on stakeout, feels himself slowly developing an interest in her.

Meanwhile the difficult-to-read Seo-rae, despite being suspected of a crime, acts boldly towards Hae-joon. A suspect who is hiding her true feelings. A detective who suspects and desires his suspect. Their Decision to Leave.(Cannes 2022)


Un Certain Regard

Joyland by Saim Sadiq – Pakistan | 2021 – 126 minutes

As the Ranas – a happily patriarchal joint family – yearn for the birth of a baby boy to continue the family line, their youngest son secretly joins an erotic dance theatre and falls for an ambitious trans starlet. Their impossible love story slowly illuminates the entire Rana family’s desire for a sexual rebellion.(Cannes 2022)

Plan 75 by Hayakawa Chie – Japan, France, Philippines | 2022 – 112 minutes

In a Japan of the near future, government program Plan 75 encourages senior citizens to be voluntarily euthanized to remedy a super-aged society. An elderly woman whose means of survival are vanishing, a pragmatic Plan 75 salesman, and a young Filipino laborer face choices of life and death.(Cannes 2022)

Retour A Séoul (All the People I’ll Never Be) by Davy Chou
France, Germany, Belgium, Qatar | 2022 – 117 minutes

On an impulse to reconnect with her origins, Freddie, 25, returns to South Korea for the first time, where she was born, before being adopted and raised in France. The headstrong young woman starts looking for her biological parents in a country she knows so little about, taking her life in new and unexpected directions.(Cannes 2022)

Out of Competition

Hunt by Lee Jung-Jae – South Korea | 2021 – 131 minutes

After a high-ranking North Korean official requests asylum, KCIA Foreign Unit chief Park Pyong-ho and Domestic Unit chief Kim Jung-do are tasked with uncovering a North Korean spy, known as Donglim, who is deeply embedded within their agency. When the spy begins leaking top secret intel that could jeopardize national security, the two units are each assigned to investigate each other.

In this tense situation where if they cannot find the mole, they may be accused themselves, Pyong-ho and Jung-do slowly start to uncover the truth. In the end, they must deal with an unthinkable plot to assassinate the South Korean president…1 goal, 2 gun muzzles!

An operation that tests the faith of two men caught between suspicion and vigilance. (Cannes 2022)


Special Screenings

All That Breathes by Shaunak Sen – US, India, UK | 2022 – 94 minutes

Against the darkening backdrop of New Delhi’s apocalyptic air and escalating violence, two brothers devote their lives to protecting one casualty of the turbulent times: the bird known as the black kite. (Cannes 2022)


Di Er (Somewhere) by Li Jiahe – China | 2021 – 23 minutes

A beer drinking party is organized by the owner of a paper mill “Fat man” and his employee “Blurred”, in order to celebrate the release of “Bald head” from prison. An unexpected event forces “Fat man” and “Bald head” to start a search for “a blurred good place”, with a river and trees… (Cannes 2022)

Feng Zheng (The Silent Whistle) by Li Yingtong – China | 2022 – 18 minutes

19-year-old girl Ming is a loner who works at night shift in a convenience store. One day near the spring festival, her unacquainted neighbor Rui invites her for a “special” dinner, which summons up her unspeakable past… (Cannes 2022)

Nauha by Pratham Khurana – India | 2021 – 26 minutes

Nauha (to grieve) is the coming of age of a 22-year-old boy (Kishan) through his experience of taking care of a 75-year-old dying man (Babuji). (Cannes 2022)

Short Films

Gakjil (Persona) by Sujin Moon – South Korea | 2022 – 6 minutes

The process of being encroached by the persona. (Cannes 2022)

Hai Bian Sheng Qi Yi Zuo Xuan Ya (The Water Murmurs) by Jianying Chen – China | 2022 – 15 minutes

When an asteroid hits the Earth leading to underwater volcanic eruptions, the inhabitants of a small riverside town start to flee inland. Before she leaves, Nian decides to say goodbye to her childhood friend. Her memories of the town start to become clearer and clearer in her mind on this journey. (Cannes 2022)

Lori (Melancholy of My Mother’s Lullabies) by Abinash Bikram Shah – Nepal | 2022 – 14 minutes

A mother sings lullabies to her 12-years-old daughter in order to calm her down. But, when the lullabies end, and the daughter comes to her senses, the reality turns out to be much grimmer, and life-altering. (Cannes 2022)

Po Sui Tai Yang Zhi XIn (A Short Story) by Bi Gan – China | 2022 – 15 minutes

A fairy tale. (Cannes 2022)

Same Old by Lloyd Lee Choi – US | 2021 – 15 minutes

A food delivery driver in New York City spends the night trying to find his stolen e-bike. (Cannes 2022)

Cannes Classics

Thamp (The Circus Tent) by Aravindan Govindan – India | 1978 – 129 minutes

Aravindan Govindan’s Thamp¯ is a poetic, allegorical film that explores the transience of human relationships and the rootlessness of the marginalized through the ripples created in the life of a village by the arrival of a circus troupe. In cinéma-vérité style, with no script in hand, Aravindan took a troupe of circus artistes to perform in a village where many locals had not seen a circus before, and shot their reaction as they were watching. They soon forgot the camera and got immersed in the circus. But soon the villagers lose interest and the circus packs up and leaves. The deeply observational, delicate gaze of the camera, captures the pathos of the circus performers and the awe of the villagers, in black and white imagery that stays with you long after the big tent has folded up. (Cannes 2022)

Itim by Mike De Leon – Philippines | 1976 – 107 minutes

Jun, a young photographer living in Manilla, decides to return to his native town to visit his father, a retired doctor who became paralyzed after a car accident. During his visit, he decides to do a photo documentary on the locals Holy Week rites. He meets the mysterious Teresa, and while they’re becoming quick friends, she slowly starts to open up about her sister, Rosa, who’s recently died. Her presence still haunts Teresa. (Cannes 2022)

Pratidwandi (The Adversary) by Satyajit Ray – India | 1970 – 110 minutes

The first of Ray’s Calcutta trilogy addresses his native Calcutta’s turbulent times in the late 60s and early 70s. After his father’s unexpected demise, Siddhartha (Dhritiman Chatterjee) is forced to quit his studies and look for a job. The perspectives of the people around him and to a large extent, the society itself, compel him into a state of constant introspection that further strengthens his sense of helplessness, disillusionment and isolation. (Cannes 2022)

For more information please visit:

Image source:
SAME OLD © Lloyd Lee Choi
THAMP © Film Heritage Foundation
ITIM © Mike De Leon
Pratidwandi © Priya Films
All other still photos were taken from Festival de Cannes.

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