Korea Pride Section
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The Korea Pride Section focuses on discovering and introducing new queer films produced in Korea
The Korea Pride section was established last year under the objective to actively nurture and support Korean queer films. Continuing the streak from last year, a total of nineteen works will be presented, with numerous features and a fine selection of shorts. Three films to be spotlighted by the festival are Weon-young Lee’s Black Summer, Hun Kim’s Tropical Night, and Hyun-il Kim’s The Offender.
Director Weon-young Lee’s Drink in the Middle of the Day was screened at the 14th Mise-en-scène Short Film Festival and the 2015 Seoul Pride Film Festival and the director was acclaimed for his sophisticated direction and outstanding sensibility. His debut feature film, Black Summer, is a story that begins when love unexpectedly blossoms between two college students as they work on a film project. When other students learn of their romantic relationship, controversy sparks across campus. In order to save face, Geonu, the younger of the two, accuses Jihyeon of sexual assault, creating a rift in their relationship.
As in Drink in the Middle of the Day, the protagonist Jihyeon is abandoned the moment he confirms the reciprocation of his love, but despite the disheartenment, maintains a futile grip on hope. Black Summer was also featured at the Korean Cinema Today section of the 2017 Busan International Film Festival where it was critically acclaimed.
Last year, director Hun Kim shocked audiences with the explicitness of One Summer Night, which is not something you can often say of Korean cinema. This year, he returns with Tropical Night, and it is not to be missed. Tropical Night is about Mingi, whose older brother commits suicide during his compulsory military service. Believing that his brother’s former lover, Jaehi, was the cause behind his unfortunate death, Mingi goes to Pataya, Thailand, where Jaehi lives with his non-biological brother, Taegyeong. Mingi soon realizes his misjudgment of Jaehi, and the two become intimate, all to the dismay of Taegyeong.
In some ways, Hun Kim’s new film could be interpreted as depicting a conventional queer love triangle. But Tropical Night demonstrates a serene mood and other indications of sophisticated direction, thus revealing the director’s extensive directorial capabilities. In addition, Hun Kim’s handling of incestuous love and the coveting of a brother’s lover demonstrates the young director’s passion for challenging social taboos.
Hyun-il Kim’s The Offender, on the other hand, approaches the topic of suicide in the Korean military from a different direction, and focuses on discrimination against gay men in the military.
The shorts presented in this section are Mumbling Gum, a film portraying the lamentations of parents who belatedly realize that the reason behind their son’s sudden death was that he was secretly gay, About Wedding a comedy about not being able to come out, as well as I Can’t and Yeon.
○ Tropical Night
○ Black Summer
○ Long Time No See
○ The Villain Who I Love
○ I Can’t
○ Are We Really Done?
○ Where We Were
○ Mumbling Gum
○ Oh! Galileo
○ About Wedding
○ Tilted Summer
○ The Offender
○ The Shuttle Run
○ Two Nights
○ Free Bird