5 films to see at the London East Asia Film Festival

5 films to see at the London East Asia Film Festival

0 comments 📅24 October 2018, 09:00

The third edition of the London East Asia Film Festival is set to begin on October 25, with a programme of over 50 films from 13 countries including China, Japan, South and North Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia. The festival shall showcase six international premieres, eight European premieres and 23 UK premieres until November 4 at cinemas across London. Select venues include Vue Leicester Square and Piccadilly, Bertha Dochouse and London Film School.

Opening with Korean thriller Dark Figure of Crime, the festival is kicking off in style before presenting films in nine strands which were specially curated for the event. While Eric Khoo’s Singapore drama Ramen Shop is set to close the festival. One particular strand focuses on actor Kim Yoon-seok, and his prolific career in the Koran film industry with four of his films being screened at the festival, including the opening night gala. The Official Selection, meanwhile, showcases some of the best films to come out of East Asia in the past year.

The festival will also focus on Taiwanese cinema to mark the surge in the country’s resurging film industry, including 10 Years Taiwan which sees five directors imagine what their country will be like in ten years’ time. A partnership with the Nara International Film Festival will see the work by a number of young Japanese filmmakers get shown at the festival, including festival director Naomi Kawase’s early 8mm films Embracing and Katatsumori. To help you decide which films to see, MyM Buzz are here to give you our top five picks of the festival…


Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest family drama, which won the prestigious Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival is a must see, and a surprise entry at the London East Asia Film Festival. Focused on the story of a family struggling with debt, poorly paid incomes, and petty crime, they turn to shoplifting to somehow make it through. One day, the father, Osamu (Lily Franky) comes across a little girl freezing in the cold and decides to take her into their lives. While they’re poor, the family are determined to live life to the full, but an unexpected incident threatens to change their happy family life for good.

1987: When the Day Comes

A powerful examination at the social and political struggles that South Korea faced under the military regime of President Chin Doo-hwan, this was another big winner during 2018’s festival circuit. Directed by Jang Joon-hwan, the film is based on the true story surrounding the June Democratic Uprising, which was triggered by the death of a student protester which was covered up by the police. Featuring an all-star group of actors, the film shifts between its large cast of characters, all of whom are desperate to uncover the truth and their political resistance against an unfair government.

Human, Space, Time and Human

Kim Ki-duk is an acquired taste in Korean cinema, but he is nonetheless a prolific filmmaker whose work has always been as provocative as it is stimulating. In his latest film, a group of characters from different ages and backgrounds find themselves living in a warship, traveling in order to explore the limits of humanity and morality. Going through space and time, the group soon dive deep into a life of debauchery, something that’s sure to be familiar to any fan of the director.

Dear Ex

Mag Hsu and Chih-yen Hsu’s compelling Taiwanese LGBT drama has arrived at the perfect time, given the country’s new law legalising gay marriage. After Salinan’s ex-husband dies, she is shocked to find out that he has left nothing for their son Song Chengxi out of his will, instead opting to give everything to his lover Jay (Roy Chiu). Angry, she decides to confront the man her ex-husband loved, but while she is hostile towards him, Song is keen to find out more about the mysterious Jay. A friendship develops between them, and soon all three begin to learn the meaning of love and life.

Comrade Kim Goes Flying

It’s not often that you’ll get the chance to watch a film that was made in North Korea, but Comrade Kim Goes Flying will be your best chance to do so. Directed by Nicholas Bonner and Anja Daelemans, the film sees its lead character Comrade Kim Yong Mi try to achieve her dreams of become a trapeze artist. But when she comes into contact with a famous trapeze artist who tells her that coal miners such as herself should stay underground, she struggles to decide what to do. It goes without saying that this is a rare chance to see a film that was made and is set in North Korea, look out for it.

Tickets for the London East Asia Film Festival are out now, for more information on the programme go to: www.leaff.org.uk

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