New Asian Currents
• October 8–12
We give you this year’s New Asian Currents program—eighteen gems in the rough that boldly carve out new ways of expression, inviting you to worlds captured and imagined by the filmmakers.
- Afternoon Landscape
- KOREA / 2020 / 73 min
Director: Sohn Koo-yong
The landscape of a town in Seoul emerges on the screen—the riverside, a street, a clothing store, a barbershop, a playground, a temple, an alley, a schoolyard—as a woman with a camera appears in the frame, taking pictures.
• Oct. 10 12:30 | Oct. 11 14:00
- Ants Dynamics
- CHINA / 2019 / 120 min
Directors: Xu Ruotao, Wang Chuyu
Workers wrongfully dismissed wage battle against their employer, China Telecom. Incorporating artistic means of expression such as photography and theater, various artists wage extraordinary performances with the workers in the film, in solidarity with their struggles.
• Oct. 8 17:00 | Oct. 11 21:30
- Beyond the Language
- FRANCE, JAPAN / 2019 / 97 min
Director: Nishino Madoka
French as a Foreign Language classes at the University of Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis. In two of the classes that focus on literature and gender, the film captures the free-spirited discussions among teachers and students both from France and abroad.
• Oct. 10 17:30 | Oct. 12 16:00
- TAIWAN / 2021 / 54 min
Director: So Yo-hen
One after another, female Vietnamese laborers arrive, suitcases in hand, at a dormitory from another dimension, cluttered with bunk beds and clothes. Here, they exchange their experiences, culminating in a unique upheaval.
• Oct. 8 20:00 | Oct. 11 18:00
- POLAND / 2021 / 10 min
Director: Chang Yu-sung
The massive heavy machinery of a dying coalmine drills eerily into the mountain. In black and white, the machine and the operator’s body morph into disorder.
- It’s Just Another Dragon
- LEBANON, HUNGARY / 2020 / 16 min
Director: Taymour Boulos
A Hungarian oral storyteller, and a Lebanese filmmaker—arriving in Budapest from a different era. Each bringing their own stories and entrusting their words to one another rather rhythmically, they weave a layered visual story.
- MYANMAR / 2021 / 13 min
Director: Nan Khin San Win
Kayah State. As the conflict continues from one generation to the next, women remain forced to live in fear of sexual violence. The inner voices and experiences of the director and a woman older than her seep quietly and powerfully into the forest.
• Oct. 8 22:00 | Oct. 11 19:30
- Home in the Mine
- CHINA / 2021 / 109 min
Director: Chen Junhua
A once-prosperous coal mining town is now in decline, as Chinese economic policy has pivoted away from coal. Through the director’s own family, the film depicts the source of life—mined from the darkness of 800 meters underground—that has given, as well as taken away from them.
• Oct. 8 14:00 | Oct. 12 20:00
- Little Palestine, Diary of a Siege
- LEBANON, FRANCE, QATAR / 2021 / 89 min
Director: Abdallah Al-Khatib
Life in a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. The situation in the country worsens, with roads blocked and food so scarce that people start dying not only from bombardment but starvation as well. No end in sight, all they can do is put one foot in front of the next.
• Oct. 10 20:00
- The Lucky Woman
- TAIWAN / 2020 / 87 min
Director: Tseng Wen-chen
This film follows the lives of undocumented Vietnamese workers in Taiwan doing odd jobs to survive, after having been forced to flee their employers due to harsh working conditions and lack of medical care. How will living this way for more than a decade shape their lives?
• Oct. 10 15:00 | Oct. 11 16:00
- Luo Luo’s Fear
- CHINA / 2020 / 85 min
Director: Luo Luo
Luo Luo’s intense fear of Covid-19 keeps her in the house during the pandemic. She listens to her father relate their family history, and spends time on Zoom with fellow Folk Memory Project members Wu Wenguang and Zhang Mengqi.
• Oct. 9 12:30 | Oct. 12 14:00
- Makeup Artist
- IRAN / 2021 / 76 min
Director: Jafar Najafi
Mina, determined to realize her dreams, not only refuses to succumb to her husband and mother-in-law’s fierce opposition, but also paves her own path and pushes forward along it. Gradually, it looks as if the people and world around her are starting to change . . . .
• Oct. 9 15:00
- Songs Still Sung: Voices from the Tsunami Shores
- JAPAN / 2020 / 80 min
Director: Suzuki Yoi
The town of Ofunato, three times prey to tsunami. Its women give the town voice, as poet Arai Takako, listens closely to capture their words. Japanese tanka (a form of classical poetry) and poems in the Kesen dialect ring out with powerful and manifold resonance.
• Oct. 9 10:00 | Oct. 12 18:00
- The Still Side
- MEXICO, THE PHILIPPINES, ARGENTINA, KOREA / 2021 / 70 min
Directors: Miko Revereza, Carolina Fusilier
An island off the pacific coast of Mexico. There is no one in sight, but we find traces of a bustling past. Interwoven into the soundscape and amorphous space of what remains, the past and future cross paths and we as spectators are invited to join on a journey beyond time.
• Oct. 10 10:00 | Oct. 12 22:30
- This Stained Dawn
- PAKISTAN, CANADA / 2021 / 89 min
Director: Anam Abbas
On that day, women across the country came out in to the streets to protest. Centered around Karachi, this film follows one group’s not-so-easy road to realizing their International Women’s Day demonstration, capturing intimate moments as well as their wisdom and struggles, and their own inclusive solidarity in opposition to all adversities.
• Oct. 9 17:30
- Writing With Fire
- INDIA / 2021 / 93 min
Directors: Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh
A digital news media run by Dalit women in North India. This film follows these independent-spirited reporters going out into the field with their smartphones, doing the reporting no one else will, in defiance of the conventional media.
• Oct. 9 20:00
- Three Songs for Benazir
- AFGHANISTAN / 2021 / 22 min
Directors: Gulistan Mirzaei, Elizabeth Mirzaei
In a camp for displaced persons in Kabul, a young man sings for his beloved wife Benazir as if the whole world was theirs alone. We see him next four years later, facing the consequences of the path he was forced to choose in providing for his family, after his struggle to find work.
• Oct. 11 12:30 | Oct. 12 12:30 (Add)
Please note that the below films will not be screened online. They are still eligible for awards at YIDFF 2021.
- Fear(less) and Dear
- HONG KONG / 2020 / 106 min
Director: Anson Mak
Three artists, who are also parents with children, living their lives in the post-2019 Hong Kong summer as an intangible sense of fear lingers in the air. Their bodies are penetrated with their experiences of the democracy movement and their own artistic expressions.