For the second year, the London Korean Film Festival has ring-fenced a portion of its hefty program to the work of its female directors. The Women’s Voices strand highlights five superb films and revolves around the contemporary point of view of feminist filmmakers. Here’s the lowdown on those female-led gems to catch during the 12th edition of the festival which runs from 26 October – 19 November.
Writer-director Lee Wanwin has set herself up for a successful career with her fascinating debut Jamsil which premiered at this year’s Busan International Film Festival. With its unique observations of two women’s evolving friendships they endure a harrowing long-term break-up using time, space and heart.
In the same female friendship boat Night Working follows two factory workers – a Korean woman and a Cambodian immigrant through dreamy imagery and stunning night shots. Together they navigate harassment from their boss and the threat of fracturing their friendship when faced with a big move to Australia.
Candle Wave Feminists is a documentary deconstructing the rife misogyny and discrimination within the revolution that led to President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment and her spiritual mentor Choi Soon-Sil’s arrest. The candlelight protests in Gwanghwamun Square have proceeded in response. Listening to interviews, we discover the dark underbelly to the events including Sewol Ferry Disaster and the Gangnam Murder Case under Park’s administration and delve into the feminist history of Korean activists.
My Turn is a short film tackling pregnancy within the workplace, after a nurse becomes pregnant and causes tensions to surface. Scrutinising the ‘pregnancy order system’ used in some female-dominated workplaces, Kim Na-kyung’s film looks at abortion access and the need of women working together to work things out.
Another short, this time from Park Sun-joo, is Mild Fever which captures the brewing storm between husband and wife in the aftermath of a painful revelation. As the news unfolds, the responses are surprisingly unwitting as they are beautifully performed.
The 12th Korean Film festival runs from 26 October – 12 November. Book now!