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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Ten Oxherding Pictures #4: Catching the Ox-Two Chinese Quinces
Ten Oxherding Pictures #4: Catching the Ox-Two Chinese Quinces

Ten Oxherding Pictures #4: Catching the Ox-Two Chinese Quinces

director: Lee Ji-sang
original title: Ten Oxherding Pictures #4: Catching the Ox-Two Chinese Quinces
country: South Korea
year: 2007
running time: 22 min.

synopsis

Zen meditation, inspired by a series of ten Buddhist poems, reflects on the fate of two quinces. In vivid detail and framed by a red and white poetic acronym, these two fruits of the same tree set out on two fascinatingly different journeys. Each quince becomes part of a contemplative still life, both at a different pace and in a different space. They transform into an abstract part of the pictorial composition and, impartially, with the silent snowfall and the murmurs of rain and thunder, presenting the cycle of death and birth and departure and return.

 

"This film seeks to answer the question of what enlightenment is and how to achieve it." Ji-sang Lee 




biography

Ji-sang Lee (1956) studied theology. He shot his first short film, For My Dear Rosa, in 1993. His controversial feature debut Yellow Flower (1998) explores the boundaries of sexuality. The filmmaker focuses on meditative still lifes built on simple motifs. In his films, he reflects on his own philosophy and way of life.

more about film

director: Lee Ji-sang

other films in the section

Over me
The romance between a woman and a dead man from her dream speaks in hints and a poetic visual shorthand. Windows, walls, doors, and railroad tracks signify the impossibility of blending reality and the subconscious. Only through the medium of film can a bridge be built between the realms of the living and the dead and allow the lovers to meet in a lyrical blend of their images.
personal program

Over me

Chang-jae Lim
South Korea / 1996 / 18 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Sanggye-Dong Olympic
In preparation for the 1988 Summer Olympics, the Korean government evicted one hundred and sixty families out onto the streets. It demolished their houses in the slums of Seoul's Sanggyedong and had luxury apartments built in its place. Dongwon Kim lived with the evicted families for three years and filmed their fight against the state authorities. The alarming film reveals the averted face of a sporting event abused for ideological purposes. He ushered in a new era of Korean social documentaries, revealing the averted face of South Korea perceived as a land of fabulous wealth, happiness, and economic growth.   "The situation requires us to make films on social issues." Dongwon Kim
personal program

Sanggye-Dong Olympic

Dong-won Kim
South Korea / 1988 / 27 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
Global Groove
This key work of video art from the pre-Internet era presents the present saturated by sensory stimuli and its global dimension in a visionary way. The breathtaking psychedelic stream flows between avant-garde and the mass media, as well as among cultures. Allen Ginsberg, John Cage or Navajo, Korean and Nigerian artists ride the same wave.   “If we could compile a weekly TV festival made up of music and dance from every county, and distributed it free-of-charge round the world via the proposed common video market, it would have a phenomenal effect on education and entertainment.” Nam June Paik
personal program

Global Groove

Nam June Paik
South Korea / 1973 / 29 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Wet Dream
A voyeuristic evocation of a three-day funeral ritual presents death as a poetic and political affair. The phantasmagoric details of a dead body, hair, and human skin intersect erotically with intimacy, mystery, and fascination. Wet Dream is the haptic externalization of inner death in an oppressive society. “The film was shot without a screenplay, I don't maintain continuity of time and space, characters or story in it. The result is internal images created by combining fantasy and film experimentation.” Kim Yun-tae
personal program

Wet Dream

Yun-tae Kim
South Korea / 1992 / 15 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Shadow Flowers
This film has a 500 views limit. Ryun-hee is eager to return to her native North Korea, which she left in 2011 to seek medical treatment. Little did she know that crossing the border with South Korea would make her an enemy of the state and that she would find herself forced to live a life in exile for many years to come. She embarks on an endless struggle with the authorities, who prevent her from returning home to her husband, daughter, and aging parents. Other families that have been torn apart by the border across the Korean peninsula face similar problems as those of our heroine. Seung-jun Lee tells us the story of a Kafkaesque world of bureaucrats and high politics, which for decades has broken family ties and left feelings of emptiness and shadows of memories in people's hearts.   “I want viewers to forget about refugee stereotypes or misconceptions about North Korea. This story is not about which system is better or worse, but about being human.” Seung-jun Lee
personal program

Shadow Flowers

Seung-Jun Yi
South Korea / 2019 / 109 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
East European Premiere
Labor News No.1
The working class continues to be a victim of the cold war on both sides of the Korean Peninsula. While in the North it led to the establishment of a totalitarian regime, in the South, factory workers have become the target of anti-Communist propaganda and the modern-day slaves of gigantic government-backed corporations. Recordings of protests, television talk shows and songs about the fight against injustice present the wave of collective defiance that swept across the entire country in 1989. South Korean unions organized mass demonstrations in which the struggle was not for the Left or for the Right, but for democracy and the right to a dignified life.   “How much more we can get is not the whole issue. What is at stake is the problem of whether we could secure the foundation for humane lives, or go back to the lives of slaves.“ Labor News No. 1
personal program

Labor News No.1

Labor News Production
South Korea / 1989 / 74 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Re Dis Appearing
Words come and go like water. The flow of spoken French and English on the border of clarity resonates in static shots, filled with simple pictorial symbols. Speech is not the bearer of meaning but a poetic element, a symbol of cyclicality, the bearer of displacement and exile.   „If words are to be uttered, they would be from behind the partition. Unaccountable is distance, time to transport from this present minute. “ Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
personal program

Re Dis Appearing

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
South Korea / 1977 / 3 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
I Am a Truck
The clip, one of twenty news clips that Kim made for the American Information Service shortly after the end of the Korean War, tells the story of a car. The vehicle speaks in a continuous monologue to the audience as it follows the process of its demise and rebirth. The components move from the junkyard to the car factory, where they are transformed into the metal interior of a new vehicle. We are not just following the story of the car, but that of the entire country as it recovers from the war and builds a new economy, led by businesses like Hyundai, a symbol of prosperity and national pride.“How will humanity make enough for three meals a day out of post-war poverty?”Kim Ki-young
personal program

I Am a Truck

Kim Ki-young
South Korea / 1953 / 18 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
noimage
Following the modernization and industrialization of the country and the adoption of the Western model, Japan turned to annexed territory to cover the lack of resources on its own soil. Under the rule of the Japanese Empire, Korea thus became a stockpile of human labor and livestock.
personal program

Livestock Industry of Korea

South Korea / 1924 / 7 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
noimage
Archival footage from 1923 of a walk through Busan and Seoul proudly points out land and ship transport, banks and palaces, everyday life in the streets, and festive moments. Only subtle hints - a Japanese-run national bank, or references to a former Korean monarch - reveal that behind the images of prosperity, economic power, and technological progress, a drama of an annexed country is taking place.
personal program

Important Towns in Korea

South Korea / 1923 / 2 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
The Murmuring
This film has a 500 views limit. Each Wednesday noon, a group of women gather in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul to stand up for the rights of comfort women. They demand that the Japanese government issues a formal apology and pays damages to the Korean women who were forced to serve as sex slaves by the Japanese army during the WWII. After years of living in seclusion and humiliation, these women decided to share their stories with the director and speak about this previously undisclosed chapter of the history of Korea. The Murmuring is one of the first Korean documentary films widely distributed in cinemas and forms the first part of the director's documentary trilogy about Korean women forced into sexual slavery, with the second part called Habitual Sadness (1997) and the third and final part My Own Breathing (1999).   „When I was gathering my friends to work with, I had a chance to visit House of Sharing – which was located in Hapjeong back then. Halmonis at House of Sharing were hostile to me just because I was a documentary filmmaker. I, however, was rather fascinated by their deep wounds and the defensive wall they had built. That was how the film started, but what I didn’t know at all was that it would turn out to be an eight-year-long documentary trilogy.“
personal program

The Murmuring

Young-joo Byun
South Korea / 1995 / 93 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
Planet of Snail
The deafblind poet knows reality only by touch, just like a snail. His slow haptic world of darkness and silence is as far removed from ordinary reality as life on an alien planet. However, this healing film does not represent existence in isolation and solitude as an oppressive existential drama, but as a lifelong therapy of darkness. Young-Chan does not reside on another planet - we are the ones who have distanced ourselves from within in an excess of visual and sound perceptions. A meditation on barriers and freedom cleanses the traces of civilization and opens the door to the elemental world of shapes, surfaces, movement, and the passage of time.   “People with disabilities are usually portrayed stereotypically as people who need our help and compassion. My film is different.” Seungjun Lee
personal program

Planet of Snail

Seung-jun Lee
South Korea, Japan, Finland / 2012 / 87 min.
section: Transparent Landscape: South Korea
Czech Premiere
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