38th Warsaw Film Festival – Asian Presence 2022

We present the Asian films that will be screened at the Warsaw Film Festival (Poland) which will take place from October 14 – 23, 2022.

Note: We included “What Remains” since the director is Chinese.

Feast by Brillante Mendoza – Hong Kong, China | 2022 – 104 minutes

A hit-and-run accident involves two families. When her husband succumbs to death, Nita files a criminal case, demanding that the driver be held responsible. Alfredo, a prominent businessman, is sent to jail after pleading guilty in place of his son Rafael. As per his father’s instructions, Rafael makes amends to Nita, whose life improves due to their generosity, as the two families gradually meld together. Despite the communion, Rafael is imprisoned in his own burden of guilt, and finally confesses the truth to Nita. On the day of Alfredo’s release, Nita prepares a feast – of unity, of forgiveness, and of freedom for the soul. (WFF 2022)

New Normal by Jung Bum-Shik – South Korea | 2022 – 112 minutes

Hyun-Jung, a woman living alone nervously watching the news. Seung-Jin, a middle schooler trying to raise his failing grades by doing volunteer work. Hyun-Su, a woman trying to find a friend of the opposite sex through a dating app. Hoon, a man who finds a mysterious letter with written instructions to find the woman who penned them. Gee-jin, an unemployed man with a one-sided crush on the stewardess next door. Yeon-jin, a musician and part-time worker at a convenience store who lives a crappy shitty life, dealing with rude customers daily. These six people’s lives intersect in unexpected and disturbing ways over the course of four days. (WFF 2022)

New Religion by Keishi Kondo – Japan | 2022 – 100 minutes

Miyabi lost her only daughter in an accident. After her daughter’s death, she got a divorce. She now works as a call girl and is living with her new boyfriend. One day, she meets a mysterious client who asks her to let him take a picture of her spine. She does as the man says and lets him take her picture, but he then asks for a picture of her feet. Since then, the man has been taking pictures of Miyabi every time. Then one day, when Miyabi is at home, she is struck by the sensation of a small hand caressing her leg. She intuits that it is her dead daughter and realizes that every time one organ is photographed, that part of the body will be able to perceive the spirit of her daughter. The last remaining part of her body is her eyes. The story of the loss of an individual that eventually leads to the collapse of a society. (WFF 2022)

Olympic by Zhu Xin – China | 2022 – 33 minutes

If science could accurately predict human performance, would the charm of sports still persist? Our protagonist, orphan athlete Marat, is a determined believer in the Olympic spirit, but when his icon is testified as genetically modified, his faith is shattered even though he becomes a new hero who evokes people’s craze for athletic sports. In such a sci-fi setting, “Olympic” is a sports thriller that contemplates the complicated relationship between the potential of humanity and technological progress. Running is a gesture with ambiguity — to pursue, or to flee? (WFF 2022)

The City by Katsuki Kuroyanagi – Japan | 2022 – 94 minutes

Four people left behind between generations? One director does almost all the work? Katsuki Kuroyanagi’s first feature film, with minimal budget and staff. The first feature film in over seven years about Shibuya in Tokyo.*) Dedicated to the people of all cities. *) Shibuya is one of Tokyo’s most colourful and popular districts, full of shops, department stores (mainly run by the Tokyu and Seibu corporations), restaurants, nightclubs, and also love hotels (rabu-hoteru). (WFF 2022)

Till Love Do Us Part by Ran Li – China | 2022 – 110 minutes

Entering the 21st century, Chinese women are fighting a different battle. What they resist is no longer physical oppression or poor living conditions, but suppression of the mind to pursue “who they want to be”. Thirty-year-old college lecturer Shu Qiao is about to marry her long-term boyfriend and fiancé, successful banker Hu. The future has been written for her. However, during a visiting scholar programme to Europe, Shu encounters theatre director Fan in Prague, with whom she falls hopelessly in love. Living a creative and free life, Fan didn’t follow any mainstream career path. He believes in “living in the moment” and encourages Shu to experiment with life, which triggers Shu’s self-awareness. Back in China, Shu enters marriage, silently enduring the fate of being a “good girl”. She suppresses her longing for Fan, until the mainstream and materialistic reality beats her down. She raises a question in her life: can she still change her path? This is a dangerous proposition in the Chinese context, for a woman who seems to “have it all”. She makes the ultimate decision and steps on a “revolutionary path”… (WFF 2022)

Trio by Battumur Dorj – Mongolia | 2022 – 96 minutes

Deep within rural Mongolia, a person with Down syndrome is rarely seen, but if recognised, is ostracised or stigmatised by society. A boy called Jam (Fate) with trisomy grows up with the help of his loving mother, who chose to live at a distance from people in order to raise her son peacefully. She gave up her younger daughter for adoption to give her a better life and then left town with her son. The years go by, the mother passes away, and Jam finds himself in psychological, emotional and physical distress. During this difficult time, he meets a Buddhist monk who helps him perform the burial ritual in accordance with the Mongolian nomadic tradition. Jam returns to a normal independent life with the knowledge of his mother’s teachings. Human life is nothing but dwelling in the intertwined trinity of the past, present and future or in the realm of the TRIO under the father heaven and the mother earth. Director’s statement: “The film is not only about the mother and son, but also about interdependence between human and nature, about tough but inescapable natural law, nomadic culture, unique tradition, religion, and people’s belief. All these are connected and transformed to become love”. (WFF 2022)

What Remains by Ran Huang – Hong Kong, UK, Finland | 2022 – 131 minutes

During the 1990s, at a Scandinavian psychiatric hospital, a man known as Mads Lake confessed to multiple murders and was convicted. However, the uneasy triumvirate of Mads, therapist Anna Rudebeck and policeman Soren Rank, all have a vested interest in unearthing the truth, and a deepening co-dependency threatens to consume them all. The mysterious man was Scandinavia’s most infamous serial killer who never was… “I was immediately drawn to the story of Mads Lake when I first read about his long, mysterious and isolated life at the psychiatric hospital, Sahlin. The odd absurdity of his life made me question what had gone wrong with the system, society and the individual. However, it seemed that everything about the Mads Lake phenomenon had already been said, and it had become a pedantic tale of the miscarriage of justice. But did I really understand it? Had I oversimplified the story with my own preconceptions of right or wrong? I discovered my own inadequacy in my judgement of Mads Lake. My uncertainty became amplified, and I am attracted to that uncertainty”, writes the director. (WFF 2022)

Where Nothing Grows by Peter Zhiguo Zuo – China | 2022 – 93 minutes

Lin and her brother Lai stepped into no man’s land again…  They want to search for their missing father. A heavy sandstorm attacked them, Lai was wounded. He persuaded Lin to walk alone, with limited food and water. Lin needs to find a way to save her brother, and also herself… (WFF 2022)

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