SEOUL, South Korea – Korean films along with those of other Asian countries like Japan and China have been presented at many festivals around the globe and often come away with awards; however, these films are seldom introduced to German audiences. The Haus der Kulturen der Welt collaborates with the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) to display a comprehensive program of the most exciting Korean contributions that are seldom shown in Germany. The program will focus on younger Korean film talent who look at the country’s social realities and offer an exquisite insight into the Korean mindset.
The eleven films produced over the last two years will be presented in three sections: The Border, Love on Detours, and Young Korean Directors.
Young Korean Directors examines friendship in a range of aspects. “Bleak Night” directed by YOON Sung-hyun, “Miracle on Jongno Street” directed by LEE Hyuksang, and “Breathless” directed by YANG IkJune will be screened in this section. “Bleak Night”, a story of emotionally stunted high-school students has won the New Currents Award BIFF 2010. “Miracle on Jongno Street” is the first documentary to address one of Korea’s most enduring taboos, homosexuality. “Breathless” which revolves around the bitter life of a debt collector has won numerous awards, most notably the Grand Prize at the 2009 Tokyo Filmex, the Silver Screen Award at the 2009 Singapore International Film Festival, and the Tiger Prize at the 2009 Rotterdam International Film Festival.
Two versions of “Hanyo, The Housemaid” – “The Housemaid” of 2010 directed by IM Sangsoo and the original by KIM Kiyoung from 1960 – will be showcased in the section Love on Detour. “Hanyo, The Housemaid” is a revenge story of a housemaid who has an affair with a family’s father. The remake was one of Korean cinema’s biggest global box office hits. “Hahaha” directed by HONG Sang-soo will also be introduced in Love on Detour.
The children’s and teenager’s program kids&teens@hkw features parallel screenings in German and Korean of the children’s film “Liefi: a Chicken in the Wild”, an animation that broke all the box office records in Korea.
The development of Korean cinema between the past and the future is the subject of a lecture by LEE Yongkwan, co-founder of BIFF and the current festival director. In his lecture Korean Cinema Today: A Conversation with the Past, he will compare the two versions of “Hanyo, The Housemaid” to illustrate his theories.
The festival KOREAN CINEMA TODAY opens with “Poetry” directed by LEE Changdong. “Poetry” tells a story of a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease who changes her outlook on life by writing poetry. The film was named “Best Screenplay” at Cannes 2010.
LEE Yongkwan and HONG Hyosook, programmer of BIFF is expected in Berlin along with numerous directors; PARK Jungbum, YANG Ikjune, and YOON Sung-hyun.