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FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW: July Jung’s A GIRL AT MY DOOR #AAIFF Asian Cinevision

Tanimaru on another great film at this year’s Asian American International Film Festival, by a woman directing her first feature film — A GIRL AT MY DOOR:

A GIRL AT MY DOOR

July Jung / Narrative / South Korea / 2014 / Drama / 119 mins

A young police officer is sent to work in a small village and takes in a teenager to protect her from her abusive stepfather.

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A GIRL AT MY DOOR is one of the most moving films I have seen in recent memory. A young policewoman arrives suddenly in a small town, assigned there from Seoul and thus begins a look at small town life in a seaside Korean town. But this is no ordinary sleepy town, there are secrets and a mysterious young girl who catches the policewoman’s eye.

The relationship between the two becomes complicated by her need to protect this young girl from an abusive father and as well to try to lay low until the truth finally emerges why she was sent to this out of the way place. The issues mount bringing the film to a final climax but what makes A GIRL AT MY DOOR so compelling are the performances of the policewoman and the young girl. Their tender interactions are at times uncomfortable, but in many ways, the frankness and openness draw you in and makes you question – what is love? What boundary should we set in the pursuit of true love?

If you get a chance – see it.

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As the AAIFF organizers at Asian Cinevision describe it :

Description

“Only people who live under the weight of the world’s prejudices can recognize the preciousness of the people around them.”

Featuring award-winning Doona Bae, Sae-Ron Kim, Sae-Byuk Song, and produced by Changdong Lee, director of “Secret Sunshine” and “Poetry,” A GIRL AT MY DOOR marks July Jung’s feature directorial debut. A GIRL AT MY DOOR tells the tale of a woman trying to save a girl from her misery, a young girl in the face of a dangerous decision, and an abusive yet ironically popular man who takes advantage of the woman’s murky past.

Young-nam rose to the ranks in the police headquarters at Seoul, but was censured for misconduct and demoted to chief of a small seaside town. As the small precinct’s chief, Young-nam bumps into the odd, strangely dressed, teenaged Dohee. When Young-nam catches Dohee’s stepfather beating her, she intervenes. A new friendship forms as Young-nam’s kindness inspires a kind of obsession of Dohee; her childlike innocence touches Young-nam’s heart.

When Dohee’s grandmother dies, Dohee knocks on Young-nam’s door for protection. Young-nam’s past haunts her as things begin spiraling down; accusations of molestation are made against Young-nam, putting her career on the line while simultaneously galvanizing the timid Dohee to make a dangerous decision to save her only friend.

Although labeled as a “child-abuse drama” sub-genre, A GIRL AT MY DOOR tackles many other social issues prevalent in South Korea in a subtle manner that compliments Doona Bae’s subdued voice and subtle emotional nuances. With a plethora of themes and motifs, A GIRL AT MY DOOR has screened and been nominated for awards at various prestigious festivals, including Cannes, Stockholm, Chicago International, and the Blue Dragon Awards. AAIFF’15 will mark its New York City debut.

Co-Presenter: Korean American Film Festival NY (KAFFNY) and Korea Society


Director’s Bio

July Jung graduated from the Film, Television and Multimedia program at the School of Art, Sungkyunkwan University. She continued her studies at Korea National University of Arts, where she produced A MAN UNDER THE INFLUENZA, which received the Sonje Award at the Busan International Film Festival in 2007. Her short film, 11, was invited to the International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul. After proving her potential with THE DOG THAT CAME INTO MY FLASHLIGHT, JUNG makes her feature directorial debut with A GIRL AT MY DOOR.

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August 4, 2015 Posted by | BUSINESS, CULTURE, FILM, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#NYAFF 2015 reviews – CHASUKE’S JOURNEY, SOLOMON’S PERJURY Part 2, MY LOVE DON’T CROSS THE RIVER

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Our trusted and valued guide through this year’s New York Asian Film Festival, Tanimaru, gives us his closing reviews for the 2015 festival.

CHASUKE’S JOURNEY – this by far was the most entertaining film for me. Chasuke is a tea server in a kind of heaven where scriptwriters craft the lives of everyone in human form. Chasuke is sent to earth to save the life of a young woman and a curious mix of Okinawan mysticism mixes with a case of Chasuke becoming an old fashioned “healer”.

CHASUKE'S JOURNEY -¬ BANDAI VISUAL, SHOCHIKU AND OFFICE KITANO

There is a word in Okinawa, “champeru”, and that is what you have with a cast of characters and unlikely situations that keep the audience entertained from the start. The final msessage at the end seemed a bit too “on the nose” and perhaps a reshoot, but overall CHASUKES JOURNEY is a trip worth taking.

SOLOMONS PERJURY Part 2 – a bit of a let down after the way the director and a very able cast crafted the events leading to the students holding a trial. It seems like the importance of all the episodes leading up to the ultimate court date reduces everyone’s performance to what part they play in the machine of story. Ryoko manages to hold her own in the midst of this plodding, Her eyes deeply searching for the truth.
There are some splendid moments when she confronts one of the students responsible for the letter that launched the trial, and the penultimate scene between the two friends – one, the deceased, and the other, defending the accused, reveals the truth and gets us back to some real drama. Still, if you missed Part 2 and could only see Part 1, you saw the better of the two films..

 

The most touching and genuine of all is MY LOVE DON’T CROSS THE RIVER, a film that showcases the unconditional love

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of an older Korean couple as we watch the husband’s life finally come to an end, leaving the wife to burn the clothes he will wear in the afterlife.

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Beautifully lensed with a hauntingly elegant soundtrack, you are swept up into both their world and that of their extended family – even their pets – and, like their masters, one pet passes on and the other remains to bring more life into the world. I am still touched by this film.

July 14, 2015 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, HOLIDAY GUIDES, LIFESTYLES, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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