Cinemas of Asia
Image: Sculpting the Giant, VIFF 2023
How do you want to be remembered after death? All Ears tackles this heavy subject with a lightness of touch and sense of humor. A failed scriptwriter leverages his knowledge of storytelling into a job writing obituaries.
Jaya, a teacher and comedian, travels across the typhoon-ravaged Philippines in a bid to win a beauty pageant. En route, they pick up an unlikely companion. Comic, sorrowful, and political, Asog examines the climate crisis through a kaleidoscopic lens.
The Boy and the Heron
Spirited Away director Hayao Miyazaki returns from retirement with an enchanting swansong, the story of a young boy, Mahito, growing up in Japan during WWII, who must venture into a fantasy world in order to save his new stepmother.
Dust in the Wind
At the end of the 1960s, high-school sweethearts Wan and Huen leave their little mining town in search of greater opportunities in Taipei, where the vicissitudes of life take their toll on the relationship.
Evil Does Not Exist
After the international success of Drive My Car, Ryusuke Hamaguchi quietly made this small-scale independent film, a work of simplicity and grace about a rural community and the developers who want to built a "glamping" retreat in the woods.
I Am Sirat
I Am Sirat is a personal documentary about Sirat, a transwoman in India, who lives a dual life. While supported by a queer network of friends in Delhi, Sirat reverts to the closet at home as she’s forced to maintain a son’s familial and cultural responsibilities.
In Broad Daylight
In a powerful film based on actual events, a hard-bitten journalist investigates abuse in a Hong Kong care home. The film sidesteps no hard hitting questions, neglects cop-outs or easy answers, and offers a resounding moral challenge to us all.
Joint Security Area
Park Chan-wook's 2000 domestic box office hit investigates a deadly incident in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.
The Monk and the Gun
On the eve of the Kingdom of Bhutan’s momentous transition to democracy in 2006, a monk sets off on a mysterious quest for his master, while an American collector arrives in a small town searching for a rare, valuable artefact.
In a poignant and piercing critique on homophobia, Shoplifters director Hirokazu Kore-eda explores the tension between a schoolboy and his teacher from various vantage points. This is a moral mystery tale, complex and gratifying.
Only the River Flows
Wei Shujun's unpredictable neo-noir pits a detective against a serial killer terrorizing a small hamlet. The cop is not only trying to outwit the murderer, but must also deal with uncooperative villagers, inept colleagues, and his own unraveling mind.
Backtracking from his suicide as a broken and depressed man, the film recounts the life of Yong-ho, from his tragic demise to his innocent youth, in reverse order.
Sculpting the Giant
This remarkable film documents a 28-year quest for glory. Indonesian sculptor Nyoman Nuarta’s goal is to build the world’s largest brass and copper structure. To do so, he must contend with public opposition, and political turmoil.
Winner of Cannes Critics' Week Grand Prix, Tiger Stripes is a coming-of-age body horror film set in a Malaysian girls' school. 12-year-old Zaffan’s body starts to change before everyone else’s, and she becomes convinced she's turning into a monster.
Tomorrow Is a Long Time
In this stirring coming-of-age drama grounded in the complex father-son dynamic, 16-year-old Meng is trying to find common ground with his emotionally distant father and military service is on the horizon.
A Tour Guide
The tribulations of adapting to a new place are explored with freshness and sympathy in this film about a defector from North Korea struggling to make a better life for herself in Seoul. A gentle, low-key movie with a touching performance from Sul Lee.
Tsugaru Lacquer Girl
Lacquerwork kitchenware is the Aoki family's legacy. When Seishiro wants to hand it down to his son Yu, he is faced with conflict, as his daughter Miyako cares far more for the craft, pushing a collision of gender politics and traditional domestic roles.
This moving doc zooms in on Ho Chung Village, which lies in the hilly rural area of Hong Kong. Once a decade, its citizens hold the Peace and Light Festival as a tribute to their village, its departed souls, and the gods that preside over them all.