70 SSIFF. Chronicle 1. Jeong


JEONG-SUN

Directed by: Jeong Ji-hye
Cast: Kim Kum-soon, Yoonkeum Sun-ah, Cho Hyeon-woo, Yong Yong-joon
Country: South Korea
New Directors (Inauguration)

Synopsis: Jeong-sun leads an orderly life and behaves candidly despite working in a food factory. Young-soo, a co-worker of hers, approaches her. While they get to know each other, they enjoy her secret relationship and he takes candid photos of her in her bed with her cell phone camera.

Our opinion: The New Directors section has been inaugurated in this edition with Jeong Sun an interesting Korean film that without standing out as Aloneers (Hong Sung Eun, 2021), one of the gems we could see last year, also offers a panoramic view of Korean society with an obvious social background. The debut of the young Jeong Ji-hye tells a story about intimacy violated when an intimate video of a woman is broadcast, but above all it is a story about human dignity and indignity when it comes to facing certain decisions.

It is difficult for the film to start, since the main conflict developed in the synopsis reaches the middle of the film, meanwhile we will witness a portrait of family and work everyday life that does not seem to lead anywhere in particular, but that does highlight the economic difficulties and the sacrifice to which older people are subjected in an increasingly competitive market. Good performances by the two female protagonists filmed with an urgent camera close to the documentary that extracts a lot of truth from its images, but that does not always manage to transcend beyond the global vision of what it tells.

runner
RUNNER

Directed by: Marian Mathias
Cast: Hannah Schiller, Darren Houle, Jonathan Eisley, Gene Jones
Country: USA – Germany – France
Official Section

Synopsis: After the sudden death of his father, Haas meets Will. runner is the story of two unknown young men who meet across the vast landscape of the United States.

Our opinion: Major disappointment runner of Marian Mathias, the first film that I have been able to see in this year’s Official Section. Tremendous drama about teenagers trapped in the sorrow of a rural life with no apparent way out who, after a brief encounter, find the inner strength necessary to escape their previously miserable lives. The debut feature by the American director suffers from a slow pace that has caused some defections in the room and the final feeling is that it tells a small story that could have been summed up in a 20-minute short film without the need to lengthen each of the plans to despair.

It is necessary to recognize the beauty of the photography and the good taste for the framing but, in general, the film denotes a certain tendency to the scenic self-complacency of the cinema indie abusing wide still shots, cycling back and forth, or shooting through door and window frames. If we analyze all this, it could be understood as a way of expressing at the same time the obstacles and the escape for some characters who feel small in a world that seems unfathomable for them. The idea seems nice to me and it is of great visual beauty, it is a film that wins after thinking about it, but you have to arm yourself with patience during the projection.

broker
BROKER

Directed by: Hirokazu Koreeda
Cast: Song Kangho, Gang Dongwon, Lee Jieun, Bae Doona
Country: South Korea
Pearl

Synopsis: One rainy night a young woman abandons her baby at the doors of a church. The newborn is picked up by two men who steal abandoned babies to sell to parents willing to pay a fee. When the young woman returns to the church, repentant, she discovers the illegal business of both men and decides to join them to find the most suitable adoptive parents.

Our opinion: An edition of the San Sebastian Festival that does not include a film by the Japanese director in its programming Hirokazu Koreeda It would not be the same, it is almost a tradition to make a hole in our agendas to contemplate each new work of the filmmaker in this Festival. The particularity of broker is that it has been shot in Korea and the director has had to adapt in some issues to the idiosyncrasies of another Asian country other than his own. The result could not be more satisfying and the director returns to the usual family themes where he continues to explore from tenderness and feeling how affective ties go far beyond DNA and strong ties can be forged between people who seem to have little in common. .

Koreeda curls the loop with this story in which a young mother abandons her baby and is picked up by two men who are dedicated to selling babies to parents who want to adopt them outside the usual administrative and legal channels, for which they are being watched by the police hoping to catch them red-handed in an upcoming installment. The strangest thing of all is that the repentant mother herself who abandoned her baby will end up joining the traffickers to find the ideal home for her child.

in the format of road movies where drama and humor are combined with wisdom, the stories of each of the characters and the reasons that have led them to act in that way are unraveled so that the viewer can identify and empathize with each one of them. In this way, a large non-normative family is formed before our eyes, as charming as it is improbable, but the fact is that the good intentions inherent in the cinema of Koreeda they always make us believe that the world we live in is better than it really is. And how could it be otherwise, we will get excited during the process. Special attention to the sequence of the Ferris wheel that I have already anticipated will be one of the most beautiful that we will see in this edition of the Festival.

70 SSIFF. Chronicle 1. Jeong-Sun, Runner and Broker.