STORIES OF WOMEN
Regent Street Cinema | SOAS | Sheffield Showroom
In partnership with Regent Street Cinema, LEAFF bring you our ‘Stories of Women’ strand. We feel that it is important for women to have a voice within the film industry, so we have curated a selection of films from East Asia that highlight the stories of women from different generations. Our ambition is to run this section annually in order to redress the gender imbalance within the industry. This selection is brought to you in association with the Pan Asian Women’s Association (PAWA), and features some of the best emerging and contemporary filmmakers in East Asia today.
< Opening >
The World of Us | Yoon Ga-eun | 2016 | 95mins | South Korea
followed by a Q&A with director Yoon Ga-eun
Wednesday 26th October, 6:30pm | Regent Street Cinema
At an age when perhaps friends mean more than moms, 10 year-old Sun is an outcast at school. After all her classmates go home on the last day before summer break, Sun is left alone cleaning the classroom. Later, she meets Jia who had just finished transferring over to the school. While Sun shows Jia around neighborhood as she had just moved there, they feel close to each other and become friends. At last, Sun has a friend! Sun and Jia go over to each other’s houses to play, share secrets, and have fun together during their break. Jia who is cheerful and outgoing likes Sun who is very kind and caring, while Sun likes Jia, her first friend ever who is even nice to her younger brother.
Towards the end of break, Jia is dragged by her grandmother to a tutoring academy. As she makes new friends there, she notices a strange vibe between Sun and the other kids. Bora, and easy-going and cool leader of the kids, seems puzzled that Jia is close with Sun. When school is back in session, Jia tries to get into Bora’s clique and starts to distance herself from Sun.
Inside the world of children that is perhaps more complex and delicate than that of adults, Sun is taken aback by her best friend Jia’s sudden change of heart, while Jia on the other hand doesn’t want to lose out on the fun at her new school. And the two girls end up hurting and getting hurt by each other.
By The Time It Gets Dark | Anocha Suwichakornpong | 2016 | 105mins | Thailand
Wednesday 26th October, 8:45pm | Regent Street Cinema
Two women arrive at a secluded house surrounded by fields and mountains. The younger woman will direct a film about the older one, a writer who led the student movement in the 1970s. The director records their interviews to use as material for her script.
The women dine at a nearby cafe and have an awkward conversation with the girl who serves them. The director begins venturing out alone, and explores a nearby mushroom farm. In the forest, she encounters a glittery blue mushroom.
The director records an interview with herself.
A road leads to another farm, where workers are engaged in the elaborate process of curing tobacco leaves. One farmer gets done with work and leaves in his truck. En route to Bangkok, he’s recognized as an actor. When he arrives home, he reads a new script for an indie film. Later, he lies in bed naked with a woman who traces his features. He plays a series of roles, including that of a singing fish. The actor runs into the woman with whom he was in bed. They exchange small talk about their respective acting careers. She tells him she’s taking time off from acting to direct her own film.
The first scene of the film recurs with new women who wear full makeup. The season has changed. The woman who was in bed with the actor is there.
The girl who waited on the director and writer is now in Bangkok, where she is working as a cleaner at the actor’s gym. She goes from one job to another, never connecting with anyone. Eventually, she arrives at a temple, where she shaves her head, lives alone, and sweeps the grounds.
She enjoys disco dancing.
Hee | Kaori Momoi | 2016 | 72mins | Japan
followed by a Q&A with director Kaori Momoi
Thursday 27th October, 6:30pm | Regent Street Cinema
Dr. Sanada works as a psychiatrist at a clinic in the United States. One day while out shopping with this family, he encounters a woman whom he once treated, named Azusa. Azusa’s words reverberate in his mind, and the envisions questioning her at the clinic. Soon after the episode, Dr. Sanada gets the chance, but under very different circumstances. Azusa’s shocking story goes beyong anything he imagined. Azusa lost both parents in a fire as a child, was bullied at school, and later married a man who became unfaithful. After getting divorced, Azusa started working as a prostitute in the United States to support her debt-filled existence. As Dr. Sanada listens further, he begins to see himself mirrored in the various men whom Azusa recalls, being drawn deeper into her world. Azusa’s revelations escalate, pushing the story toward an unexpected conclusion.
< Speaking Out: Actor-Director Talk by Kaori Momoi >
Saturday 29th October, 3:30pm | The Soho Hotel
Kaori Momoi is a cinematic icon. Internationally, Momoi is renowned for her role in MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA and her role alongside Quentin Tarantino in SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO. Within Japan, she is one of the most highly respected and controversial actresses of her time. Her individualism and ambitious film choices make her an indisputable authority on Japanese cinema. Moreover, her vast repertoire of work with distinguished Japanese directors (such as Akira Kurosawa and Yoshimitsu Morita) provides a solid foundation for her own efforts. Having recently turned her hand to directing, Momoi’s highly acclaimed HEE is testament to her versatility as both an actor and director.
In the wake of HEE’s UK premiere as part of THE STORIES OF WOMEN, in partnership with Japan Foundation, Momoi is invited to explore her filmmaking experiences and directing works as well as reflect on issues within contemporary Japanese film. Momoi will be joined in conversation by curator and writer Jasper Sharp.
Spirits’ Homecoming | Cho Jung-lae | 2016 | 127mins | South Korea
followed by a Q&A with director Cho Jung-lae, Actresses Son Sook and Kang Hana
Thursday 27th October, 8:30pm | Regent Street Cinema
Saturday 29th October, 3:30pm | Sheffield Showroom
“This is hell”
In 1943, the 14-year-old innocent ‘Jung-min’ (Kang Hana) had no clue when she was dragged by the Japanese soldiers away from her family.
‘Jung-min’ is thrown into a train, along with many more children including ‘Young-hee’ (Seo Miji), and heads to a clueless place. During the Second World War, ‘Jung-min’ and other children are thrown out in the cold battlefield. Japanese soldiers were waiting for them where they only received terrible agony and pain.
The painful history of ours that shouldn’t be forgotten!
“Though I’ve kept the past buried deep in my heart as it was too awful and hard to believe…
I can’t stand looking at our people being oblivious of the past and hanging on to Japan.
Please take care of my grudge before I pass away.”
– The late Kim Hak-soon (Victim of ‘Comfort Women’)
<73 Years On, ‘Comfort Women’ Shown on Film>
Talk and Q&A about Spirits’ Homecoming and the Issue of ‘Comfort Women’
Friday 28th October, 5:00pm | SOAS, B102 in the Brunei Gallery
‘Spirits’ Homecoming’, a film about “comfort women” will be screened as a part of theLondon East Asia Film Festival programme on 27th October at Regent Street Cinema inLondon. In connection with the screening, the director and the two main actresses of thefilm will take part in the seminar at SOAS to talk about the making of a film that expressesthe hardship of these women. There will be a Q&A session for the audience to askquestions after the opinions offered from the panel.The speakers will discuss the issue revolved around so-called “comfort women” includingthe conscious problem in the writing of history and the unresolved issues related to the“comfort women” at present. During the talk, parts of Spirits’ Homecoming will be shown,however, the full film will be shown for the first time in Europe the day before the seminartakes place.
In association with