“Breathless”: A New Korean Movie on Domestic Violence

breathlessMy own series of posts on domestic violence in Korea is on temporary hiatus as I realize I should finish others first, but in the meantime the new movie “Breathless” (똥파리, or “shit fly” in typically earthy Korean) on that theme looks like something I should definitely take some time to watch. In the words of Korea Times reporter Lee Hyo-won, whose film reviews are of such high quality that I confess I cut out and keep most of them (source, left: KoreaFilm):

…”Breathless” explores the murky gray zone between compassion and cruelty, redemption and revenge, and the blessings and curses of family bonds. In a nutshell, it’s a family drama that’s inappropriate for children. While harrowingly violent, however, the multiple-award winning film by director-lead actor-producer Yang Ik-june seethes with warmth and humor.

The film is making headlines for entering almost 20 international film events and picking up top prizes, including, most recently, the SIGNIS Prize and the Audience Award, Wednesday, at the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival. And the movie does not disappoint, and establishes Yang as a name to watch out for.

Read here for the remainder, and here for an interview and short biography of producer, director and lead actor(!) Yang Ik-june (양익준), who sounds like a bit of maverick:

”I want to say ‘ – you’ to the world through my films,” he said. He also wants to show the male private parts onscreen someday. ”Koreans think it’s artistic when they see it in a foreign film, but here they censor it. We feel unstable in this world because we want things to be safe all the time, but we need to be courageous,” said the director, who respects cineastes like John Cameron Mitchell (”Shortbus”). ”Sex is part of life,” he said.

For more on the recent decision to allow Shortbus to be screened, see here. I definitely share his sentiments, and, as someone notorious among my friends for never shying away from sexual topics myself, I very much look forward to more films from him!