Glasgow Film Festival – Asian Presence 2023

We take look at the Asian feature films that will be screened at the Glasgow Film Festival which is taking place from March 1 – 12, 2023.

A Man by Kei Ishikawa – Japan | 2022 – 121 minutes

How much do we really know the people close to us? Divorced single mother Rie (Sakura Ando) works in a small family business and slowly opens her heart to shy customer Daisuke (Masataka Kubota). It is the beginning of a lasting, happy relationship until attorney Kido (Satoshi Tsumabuki) comes to call, asking questions that undermine everything she had previously believed. What begins as a touching romance shifts focus to become a thriller that never quite goes where you think it will. A slippery, intriguing tale of identity, acceptance and the healing power of love. (GFF2023)


Hong Kong Mixtape by San San F Young – Hong Kong | 2023 – 87 minutes

Amid China’s introduction of a new national security law that restricts certain words, images, books, slogans and songs, director San San F Young examines the internal struggle of those who choose to fight to protect the creative freedoms of the residents of Hong Kong. Young’s own personal story is interwoven with those of different artists, from rappers to stunt collectives and everyone in between as they are forced to contend with the new authoritarian stranglehold and whether or not they are willing to risk their freedom for their art. (GFF2023)

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

An ageing population and a falling birth rate create massive problems for a near future Japan in this troubling, thought-provoking dystopian drama. The solution is Plan 75, a scheme rewarding public-spirited older citizens who choose to euthanise themselves and stop being a burden. 78-year-old Michi (Chieko Baisho) thinks the time may have come to join the plan. Hiromu (Hayato Isomura) is an enthusiastic salesman for the scheme until his estranged uncle decides to sign up. A moving insight into the chilling way societies are prepared to dismiss those they no longer value. (GFF 2023)


Stone Turtle by Ming Jin Woo – Malaysia, Indonesia | 2022 – 91 minutes

Zahara, along with her niece Nika, live off grid on a remote island in Malaysia. Zahara scrapes a living by selling turtle eggs on the black market, whilst making trips to the mainland in the hopes of enrolling Nika into school.

When Samad arrives on the island claiming to be a researcher, Zahara soon becomes embroiled in a cat and mouse game of deception that threatens to change the course of time itself.

Groundhog Day meets The Wicker Man in Ming Jin Woo’s mysterious and poetic genre mashup that examines the impact of past traumas and how they shape the future. (GFF2023)


When the Waves Are Gone by Lav Diaz – Philippines, France, Portugal, Denmark | 2022 – 187 minutes

One of Lav Diaz’s most accessible films, this is a tale of good and evil that holds up a mirror to Rodrigo Duterte’s rule over the Philippines. Police officer Hermes (John Lloyd Cruz) is renowned for solving cold cases and following the rules when he finds himself at a moral crossroads. As feelings of guilt and anxiety haunt him, a severe skin disease is triggered that seems almost like a physical manifestaion of his moral collapse. Macabanty (Ronnie Lazaro) is the corrupt superior he helped to put behind bars. Now he is out and has found God. The film follows their path to a showdown, shot in black and white, framed as a noir-like journey into the heart of human darkness. (GFF2023)}


Riceboy Sleeps by Anthony Shim – Canada | 2022 – 117 minutes

Maya Angelou’s belief that ‘If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going’ is at the heart of this warmhearted, sharply observed portrait of the tender bond between a mother and her son.

There are echoes of Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari in the story of So-young (Choi Seung-yoon) as she leaves South Korea to build a life in 1990s Canada with her newborn son. Casual racism, cruel insults and the pressure to assimilate are among the obstacles they face together, in a film that celebrates family ties, identity and the search for belonging. (GFF2023)


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