5 feature lenght films you should not miss at Far East Film Festival Udine

If you don't have time for personal exploration of amazing films from far-east, we bring you our top five picks

From June 26 to July 4, 2020, the 22nd Far East Film Festival will be held in the Italian city of Udine. From 1999 until today, the festival has become the largest promotion of Asian film in Europe. This year will feature 46 films and there are even four world premieres included! The novelty of this years edition is that 22nd edition of the festival FEFF is completely online and can be followed via digital platform MYMovies.it.


We are aware that not everyone has time for personal exploration of the FEFF programme, so we decided to bring you here our top five picks of the films that should not be missed!


Beasts clawing at straws


The destinies of hard-luck lowlifes slowly converge and come crashing down: Jung-man barely gets by working at a sauna and taking care of his sick mother until he finds a bag full of cash in the locker room; Tae-young is in trouble after his girlfriend runs away with the money he borrowed from a loan shark. Soon, a dead body mysteriously turns up; Mi-ran, caught between her husband’s violence and a dead-end job as a bar hostess, she finds a young lover, Jin-tae who offers to kill her husband… And now their dog-eat-dog game starts


Beasts clawing at straws mimics vibes of early works by Quentin Tarantino or Guy Ritchie, multiple narratives built upon one central object of desire. Director Kim Yong-hoon brings the best of Korean crime genre-a with his witty but still comical story than entertains all the way through 2 hours of film.


Labyrinth of Cinema


The story centres on a group of young people who travel back in time when they are in a film theatre just before closing time. They witness deaths during the closing days of Japan’s feudal times and on the battlefront in China before they are sent to Hiroshima just before the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of the city.


On the 10th of April 2020, Japan was meant to witness the theatrical release of Nobuhiko Ōbayashi's Labyrinth of Cinema, ultimately delayed by COVID-19, that date would instead mark the passing of cinema's greatest maestro and magician, after four long years of fighting against cancer. Ōbayashi's swan song talks for him and his full career and is a true treat for cinephiles from all over the world.


I’m Really Good


A normal day for little Riko at home and at school. A vivid snapshot pervaded by the calm flow of reality that creates an authentic sense of wonder. Hirobumi Watanabe's I'm really good brings us a piece of slow cinema, a story of a young girl, a slice of life and calmness, a true view in the life of a carefree life of a child. Watanabe frees her work of all the melancholy and anxiety specific for a genre-a and manages to bring a light-hearted story for a calm and mindful hour of runtime. 


Kim Ji-young, Born 1982


Kim Ji-young, an ordinary woman in her 30s, suddenly shows signs of being inhabited by others such as her late mother and older sister, and the stories of the people connected to her. Director Kim Do-young with her film talks about hot topics as gender inequality, woman discrimination, patriarchal society, misogynistic society, depressions and mental health issues. Her depiction of postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), experienced by approximately 9% of women following childbirth, is something truly genuine. Her dissection of societal norms, traditions and mental states of a woman, makes this must-see feminist piece of work from far east.


Better Days


Nian is trying to get into shape for the state Gaokao exam. Her chances of getting a spot at university depend on her score and the constant bullying of her classmates is not helping much. Bei’s world is the street, with all its dark corners. A night-time encounter brings the shy schoolgirl together with the street-savvy trickster, Bei. When Nian’s school nemesis turns up dead, the new allies come under suspicion.


Derek Tsang's Better Days, the closing film of this years FEFF brings viewers back to harsh reality we are living in. Based on true events, with the young, but still splendid cast, this film manages to embody the painful truth about value system oriented on education, that up to not so far ago wasn't enough aware of a pressure it builds up. Bullying, tough road to success and not being sure why this certain kind of success is something to strive for are just some of the issues Better Days bring within a fun, coming of age romance narrative over it. Combination of these two polar opposites manages to elevate this film to a rather high level where it is emotionally draining but bearable to watch harsh mainland China existence into the face.

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