19th ZAGREBDOX International Documentary Film Festival – Asian Presence 2023

Four Asian films will be screened at the ZAGREBDOX International Documentary Film Festival which will take place from March 26 until April 2, 2023 in Zagreb, Croatia

– Feature Films –

Delikado by Karl Malakunas – Great Britain, USA, Australia, Hong Kong, Philippines | 2022 – 94 minutes

Delikado follows three magnetic leaders of the network of environmental crusaders and vigilantes, as they risk their lives trying to stop politicians and businessmen from destroying the Philippines’ “last ecological frontier”. It is a timely film emblematic of the struggles globally for land defenders as they are being killed in record numbers trying to save natural resources from being plundered by corporations and governments. It is also a unique expose of President Rodrugo Duterte’s “war on drugs” in the Philippines, which has claimed thousands of lives. Delikado shows the drug war is used as a tool for politicians to control the levers of economic and political power. The film offers a story of courage and resilience to inspire others into action. (ZAGREBDOX 2023)


Everything will be OK by Rithy Panh – France, Cambodia | 2022 – 98 minutes

Imagine that animals took power. Would they behave like humans? Would they make similar mistakes, would they fight for power, rule by terror, devour everything? What would their artworks represent? Would the planet be more at peace? Rithy Panh’s dense mnemonic essay uses stunning dioramas to tell a twenty-first century dystopian story. After a century of genocidal ideologies and destructive speciesism, animals have enslaved humans and taken over the world. But, a zoological revolution is reversing and recreating the atrocities of the 20th century. Everything Will Be OK is a dystopian vision à la Animal Farm and Planet of the Apes, with nightmarish sound design and a poetically political commentary. (ZAGREBDOX 2023)


Hidden Letters by Violet Du Feng – Germany, USA, China, Norway | 2022 – 89 minutes (Film in Competition)

Spanning between past and present, from sunken rice fields and rural villages to bustling metropolitan cities, Hidden Letters follows two millennial Chinese women who are connected by their fascination with Nushu, a secret language that bonded generations of women in a clandestine support system of sisterhood, hope and survival. Hu Xin works as a Nushu museum guide and aspires to master the ancient script following the breakup of her marriage. In Shanghai, Simu is passionate about music and Nushu, but marital expectations threaten to end her pursuit of both. Influenced by Nushu’s legacy of female solidarity, the two women struggle to find balance as they forge their own paths in a patriarchal culture steeped in female subservience to men. (ZAGREBDOX 2023)


– Short Films –

Will you look at Me by Shuli Huang – China | 2022 – 20 minutes

A young Chinese filmmaker in search for himself returns from New York City to his hometown Wenzhou, not feeling at home anywhere anymore. Through the camera lens, his distant gaze seems to be given justification and courage. A long due conversation with his mother dives the two of them into a quest for acceptance and love. Will You Look At Me, is a personal essay on fear, silence, and love. (ZAGREBDOX 2023)


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