SIPFF 2023 2023.11.02(Thu.) ~ 2023.11.08(Wed.)

2022 SIPFF Opening Film
Opening Film


Director  BYUN Sung-bin

Korea | 2022 | 115min | Color | Drama | 12+ | GT | IP

Languages Korean Dia | Subtitle English Sub

PEAFOWL, the first feature film of Director Byun Sung-bin, who is well-known for God’s Daughter Dances, which showed waacking dance with transgendered people, will be presented as an opening film. While PEAFOWL kept the strength of the materials and set-up of his previous film, it presents a deeper message and extraordinary storytelling skills. Nongak (traditional Korean music performed by farmers), Kut (Korean shamanistic ritual), Waacking dances, and EDM, integrated into the story of “Shin Myung,” a transgendered main character, shows fish and new styles of dance and delivers the audiences the necessity and value of harmony.

PEAFOWL depicts the story of the waacking dancer, Myung, who severed the relationship with her father, Deokgil, who plays Korean traditional music, because of Myung’s transgender sexual identity. However, after her father passed, Myung got her father’s will saying that Myung would gain her father’s inheritance if she participated in her father’s 49th-day memorial ritual. Even though she knew she wouldn’t get along with old-fashioned and conservative ambiance, Myung participates in the ritual to gain money for her sex reassignment surgery. In this process, Myung could resolve her bitterness and resentment accumulated in her for a long time, and finds her true color and feels true liberation. The memorial ritual, consist of the mixture of nongak and waacking dance, presented in the climax of the film, gives audience refreshing jolt and catharsis.

Director Byun Sung-bin is a promising film director, invited to approximately 150 film festivals world-widely and earned more than 70 awards. His first feature film, PEAFOWL, demonstrates many aspects of his life: East Asian ideologies which he majored in college, his experiences of nongak community, and the charm of waacking dance which was also shown in his previous work. It may seem to be somewhat unsuited combination, but Byun conveys the necessity of “harmony” and “unity” by delivering the East Asian ideology of “the life that accept and appreciate one another” and the ideology of nongak and kut, signifying “common prosperity and value of peaceful lives” along with intense waacking dance and EDM music.

Director Byun said that he made PEAFOWL because he “wants to tear down the wall.” Likewise, the story of Myung and the people from her hometown delicately and soulfully displays the journey of caring for one another’s scars, forgiving one another, and finally tearing down the walls between distinct groups of people and ending up understanding one another. Just like Byun mentioned that “our blazing hearts will cool down and scars will be healed only when we understand one another and hold one another’s hand,” the audiences who visit SIPFF 2022 will meet diverse programs and queer films, and truly feel that it would be possible to understand others and harmonize with them.

SIPFF has screened great films such as A Shamed, Keep the Lights On, Out in the Dark, Stranger by the Lake, Pride, Staying Vertical, 120 Beats Per Minute, Between the Seasons, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Summer of 85, SO LONG, SEE YOU TOMORROW as its opening films. it is expected that this year’s opening film PEAFOWL will also will be loved by SIPFF’s audiences, make a great hit, and the tickets will all be sold out.

Synopsis |

Myung is a transgender who cut ties with her hometown and her father, a Korean traditional performer, because of who she is. Now, all she needs is the surgery but the only way to earn money, by winning the Waacking dance competition, didn’t go well. On that day, she receives a call that her father passed away and Myung finds out that her father left a will that he would give her the legacy if she performs Drum Dance during his 49th memorial ritual. With no choice left, Myung goes back to her hometown to perform according to her father’s will.