Films of New Currents

in 18th Busan International Film Festival

by Seo Insook

10 Minutes, the Korean film that won the prize of the FIPRESCI jury at the 2013 Busan International Film Festival, is about a young man studying for an exam to work for a broadcasting company. He also carries the financial problems of his family who are dependent on him so he starts to work as an intern and a junior government employee. This film describes Korean workplaces in detail, with conflicts not only between co-workers but also between senior and junior workers. The film sharply looks on as the hero tumbles down over his unfortunate destiny and shows an open ending in a very interesting way. The ending offers multiple choices the hero can choose: should he stay as a stable social employee, or begins a new as a chaser who continues to search for his dream.

Next is The Story of an Old Woman, a Kazakhstan film directed by Alexey Gorlov who shows sharp criticisms of the selfish nature of mankind. The mother of a family comes back home from her long period of stay at the hospital unable to move and speak at all without the help of other people, but sherealizes that it was money that caused her daughter and son-in-law to bring her home after years of neglect in that hospital. The director excellently shoots the entire film almost in one take, which is depicted in an experimental way. The ending of this film is very touching and tragic because the old woman, Anna, eventually dies in a form of revenge to her daughter and her family who cruelly treated her.

Lastly, Transit is a film from the Philippines directed by a female director, Hannah Espia. It deals with the miserable lives of Filipino labourers in Israel anda new law that requires immigrant children aged five years old or younger to leave the county. The film shows several main characters who are struggling with the harsh environment and suffering from identity crisis between Filipino and Israel nationalities. These stories we see of the main characters are divided by each character’s point-of-view and then merge with that of Joshua who is the underage son of a single dad, Moses. The female director gives a vivid description of the unfavorable reality about Filipino laborers, who are afraid of being deported from Israel, in a realistic way much like a documentary.

Edited by Glenn Dunks