15 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 25th Far East Film Festival

These are fifteen films you shouldn’t miss at the Far East Film Festival which will take place from April 21 – 29, 2023 in Udine, Italy.

A Guilty Conscience by Jack Ng – Hong Kong | 2023 – 133 minutes

If you love stories about lawyers fighting unwinnable battles against legal Goliaths, A Guilty Conscience is the film for you. Adrian is an ambitious lawyer who must defend a woman accused of killing her daughter. The trial gets off to a bad start and, after being betrayed by a witness, the defendant is convicted. Two years later, a more worldly Adrian initiates the appeals process, but he soon finds himself up against the most powerful family in Hong Kong. (FEFF 2023)


Convenience Story by Miki Satoshi – Japan | 2022 – 97 minutes

A convenience store, young screenwriter Kato, his horror film-starring actress girlfriend and a dog with the habit of cancelling Kato’s hard work all get thrown into the eccentric, ingenious blender that is director Miki Satoshi’s mind. Add to that an out-of-the- way convenience store run by Keiko with her quirky husband who loves to conduct an imaginary orchestra, and you have surreal comedy Convenience Story. (FEFF 2023)


Day Off by Fu Tien-yu – Taiwan | 2023 – 105 minutes

A-Rui has been a hairdresser for over 40 years. Tireless and skilled with scissors, she’s an institution in her community, and she has also infected her children – who follow in her footsteps – with her love of the job. A love that leads her to use her day off not to rest but to go and cut the hair of a sick client. Much more than a feel-good movie, Day Off is a portrait of humanity in its most sincere, most sublime form. (FEFF 2023)


Gaga by Laha Mebow – Taiwan | 2022 – 112 minutes

The life of a family linked to Tayal traditions is turned upside down by the disappearance of grandfather Hayung. And things are further upset by the entry into politics of the son and the return of the grandmother from New Zealand with her fiancée. Is it possible for a close-knit family rooted for decades in a Taiwanese village to preserve its traditions even when contemporary life demands otherwise? (FEFF 2023)


Hachiko by Xu Ang – China | 2023 – 125 minutes

We’ve probably all heard the story of the dog Hachiko, who is still today a symbol of  unconditional loyalty. Hachiko was an Akita who continued to wait for his master for nine years outside the station where he’d accompanied him every morning, even after the man stopped returning. A new version that manages to be moving without being tearful or saccharine, with a sublime performance from Feng Xiaogang. (FEFF 2023)

In My Mother’s Skin by Kenneth Dagatan – Philippines | 2023 – 97 minuntes

Once upon a time there was a little girl who took care of her family when her father was stolen away by the war. In the woods, the girl meets a fairy/saint who promises her a happy life. But she doesn’t know that the price to pay is pain and blood. Once upon a time there was a dark fairy tale, as brutal, glittering and merciless as the war stories of grandparents. Once upon a time there was innocence – but those days are gone. (FEFF 2023)

Killing Romance by Lee Won-suk – Korea | 2023 – 107 minutes

LEE Wonsuk’s name is a guarantee for Feff regulars, while FEFF newcomers will meet one of the most eccentric pop-culture personalities in Korean cinema. A starlet retires from the movies and marries rich Johnathan. The marriage is an unhappy one though, and she decides to start acting again, but her husband forbids it. Prompted by her neighbour and huge fan, she concocts a plan to “fix” her husband. (FEFF 2023)


Plan 75 by Hayakawa Chie – Japan | 2023 – 114 minutes

Japan, tomorrow. A government programme offers those over the age of 75 euthanasia in exchange for financial support. Through a struggling old woman, an IT salesman and a Filipino nurse, Hayakawa gracefully paints a social drama balanced between dystopia and realism, which sees the eternal talent of Baisho Chieko sparkle – a symbol of a Japan trying to resist the shocks of time and of modernity. (FEFF 2023)


Rebound by Chang Hang-jun – Korea | 2023 – 122 minutes

Rebound is about the sports miracle that happened to a famous high school basketball team fallen on hard times. A former second division player is brought in as coach to teach the players about being a team rather than about being champions, and that’s where the miracle happens, because with only six players (and the coach), the wins start to arrive. How far will these magnificent seven go? (FEFF 2023)


She is me, I am Her by Nakamura Mayu – Japan | 2022 – 69 minutes

Three friends gossip about a girl they were at university with. A woman begs a delivery man to eat with her. A sex worker meets a homeless woman with a passion for Chekhov. A blind person risks becoming the victim of a scammer. The glue holding these stories together? Nakamura’s creative response to the impact of the pandemic on normal or not always normal existences. And an extraordinary Nahana who splits herself into four different characters. (FEFF 2023)


The Abandoned by Tseng Ying-ting – Taiwan | 2022 – 128 minutes

Policewoman Wu Jie is on the verge of killing herself when the heartless body of a Thai woman is found. You-Sheng, a shady broker, hides the body of an illegal immigrant who died in a factory. Are these two deaths linked? A nocturnal, old-school noir with a protagonist who has to deal with her own demons as well as a killer. And failure means brushing aside the fate of migrant women. (FEFF 2023)


The Night Owl by An Tae-jin – Korea | 2022 – 118 minutes

A dark cloud of mystery hovers over the royal palace. Which, in fact, is where the murder of the crown prince takes place. The death of his son throws the king into a state of paranoia and madness. How to find out who is behind this conspiracy? Threatened by the shadows that roam the corridors of the building, the only witness to the crime is Kyeong-Soo, a blind acupuncturist who, strangely, at night is able to see as well as anybody else. (FEFF 2023)


The Other Child by Kim JIn-young – Korea | 2022 – 114 minutes

Isaac is adopted by a fervent Christian family, one of whose sons, Han-byul, drowned in a lake. For the other brothers, and in particular for the older sister with her disturbing religious fanaticism, Isaac is not welcome. And that’s without mentioning that the child can see ghosts and shed light on Han-byul’s death. Slowly and inexorably, The Other Child’s blend of innocence, perversion, pain and guilt will get under your skin. (FEFF 2023)


Untold Herstory by Zero Chou – Taiwan | 2022 – 112 minutes

The story of a group of women who, during the White Terror, are confined in a penal colony off the east coast of Taiwan where they are allowed out of their barracks only for re-education courses and forced labour. Many of them, mostly students, are there for having said the wrong thing or for reading banned books. This is the story of these women’s determination to continue living. (FEFF 2023)


You & Me & Me by Wanwaew and Waewwan Hongvivatana – Thailand | 2023 – 122 minutes

You and Me are twins. One is good at maths, the other at English, so they sit each other’s exams. One loves to work, the other loves music. One is in love with Mark, and so is the other. Mark falls in love with You but gets mixed up and thinks she’s Me. And as if adolescence weren’t already difficult enough, especially for twins, their parents decide to separate them. (FEFF 2023)


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