9 Film you shouldn’t miss at the 27th Aichi International Women’s Film Festival

These are nine films you shouldn’t miss at the Aichi International Women’s Film Festival (Japan), which will take place from September 8 – 11, 2022.

– Sected Films –

Barbarian Invasion by Tan Chui Mui – Hong Kong, Malaysia | 2021

Moon Lee, a celebrated award-winning actress, has become a full-time mom and divorcée since retiring. Desperate to regain her sense of self, she jumps at the chance to work with her long-time collaborator, director Roger Woo, again. Only this time, he casts her as the lead in a do-your-own stunts martial arts film.

The role requires extensive training and though Moon is at first uncertain, she leaves her young son in the care of Roger’s assistant and commits herself to back-breaking training. As soon as she starts to gain some confidence, Roger breaks the news to her: the only way the film can move ahead is to cast her ex-husband, Julliard, as the male lead. (AIWFF 2022)


Gyeong-ah’s Daughter by Kim Jung-eun – South Korea | 2022

After the death of her husband, Gyeong-a works as a caregiver and lives alone. The only one she can rely on is her daughter, Yeon-su, but it’s hard to meet her after her independence. Meanwhile, Yeon-su is suffering her ex-boyfriend Sang-hyeon persistently asking her to meet him. Thanks to Yeon-su’s surprise visit, Gyeong-a spends a lively weekend… That night, she gets a message from an unknown number. Upon opening the message, a video of Yeon-su having sex with an unknown man and Gyeong-a goes into the trauma. (AIWFF 2022)


My Small Land by Emma Kawawada – Japan, France | 2022

For Sarya (17), a Kurdish refugee girl in Japan, life seems to be looking up; her grades at school are enough to pursue college, she’s surrounded with good friends and her relationship with Sota is becoming special. Sarya’s life becomes upside down, however, when she learns that her family’s refugee status is turned down, restricting her family of work and traveling across the city. Her father, who had continued to work to sustain a living, is taken into custody for illegal employment. Sarya is now suddenly forced into a situation where she is responsible not only for her younger siblings but for her very existence. (AIWFF 2022)


Pilgrimage Journey, Start of 1,200km by Shiho Kozai – Japan | 2022

Mahiru Ito is an editor of a travel magazine. When internationally renowned writer Issei Yamamoto goes missing, Mahiru embarks on a pilgrimage of Kagawa Prefecture, in order to write in his place the column he was scheduled to start in the 50th anniversary issue of the magazine. Traveling with a letter she received from her mother who died 15 years ago, Mahiru visits 88 places in Shikoku, retracing footsteps and feelings of her. (AIWFF 2022)


Secret Name by Aurélia Georges – France | 2021

Nélie escaped a miserable existence by becoming a frontline nurse in 1914. One day, she takes the identity of Rose, a young woman from a good family, who dies in front of her. She presents herself in her place at Madame de Lengwil’s house, to become the reader of this wealthy woman. The lie works beyond her expectations. (AIWFF 2022)


Sky of Non-Self by Haruka Shima – Japan | 2022

Shusuke, who worked as an electrician, shut down his business because his staff member, Kohei, died on the job. Shusuke tries to compensate Kohei’s family by doing all the things that Kohei used to do for his mother, Satsuki. But she never opens her mind to Shusuke… Will she accept him?

The Lucky Woman by Tseng Wen-chen – Taiwan | 2020

The film follows Vietnamese men and women who left their home country to work in Taiwan. Escaping from the harsh treatment and lack of medical insurance in their previous jobs, they live their lives as illegal residents hiding in plain sight. We meet Thao Van who has worked in a Chinese restaurant, in a construction site, and as a care worker twice, once for an elderly client and once for a cancer patient. We also meet Tran Duy Hung, a painter, a voice for the experiences of many runaway workers, and a demonstrator in protests against the government. The film depicts traffic accidents and illnesses—the death that plagues these individuals’ lives. Both Van and Hung turn themselves in to the police and end up being forced to return home. Van had lived in Taiwan for 4094 days. (YIDFF 2021)


This Stained Dawn by Anam Abbas – Pakistan, Canada | 2021

On the streets of Pakistan, from Karachi to Islamabad, the Aurat March (Women’s March), was held despite counter-demonstrators and the bombardment of hate speech against the participants. A few months prior, a women’s group was formed in Karachi to organize a public event and protest on International Women’s Day. We discover a profound sense of supple solidarity, wisdom and hard work in these women from all walks of life vividly depicting their passion even as they overcome lawsuits to stop the protests, and battle against the headwinds. Combining archival footage with animation, the film gives historical context to and breathes life into feminism in Pakistan, bridging time and forging connections between the reality the women face every day and the larger struggles of feminism. (YIDFF 2021).

Writing with Fire by Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh – India |2021

In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful. (AIWFF 2022)


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