Now in its 70th year, the Locarno Film Festival returns with another celebration of auteurist cinema from 2nd to 12th August, 2017. As usual there are a number of arthouse films from East Asia included in the programme hailing from China, Japan, Korea, and Myanmar.
Visual artist Xu Bing’s first debut feature Dragonfly Eyes is entirely composed of images taken from China’s many CCTV surveillance cameras as they capture the lives of two young people – Qu Ting, a young woman training to become a buddhist nun who returns to the secular world and takes a job at a dairy farm, and Ke Fan a young man who falls in love with her but finds himself sent to jail in the quest to win her heart. On his release he searches for her desperately only to discover she has reinvented herself as an online celebrity.
Wang Bing’s documentary Mrs. Fang tells the story of an elderly woman suffering with Alzheimer’s who is sent back to her rural village from the nursing home in which she had been living after it is decided they can offer no further treatment.
In Kim Dae-hwan’s The First Lap Su-hyeon and Ji-young have been living together for the last six years but the possibility of an unexpected pregnancy forces the pair to reassess their relationships with their old families before starting a new one.
Ryutaro Ninomiya directs himself in Sweating the Small Stuff as he plays a 27 year old mechanic who decides to pay a visit to the terminally ill mother of a friend he has been avoiding seeing despite knowing of her illness.
The first feature documentary from Lee Yong Chao, Blood Amber takes a look at a Burmese forest controlled by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in which the inhabitants eke out a living mining hoping to find a way out whilst also living in fear of military action.
There are also two short films from East Asia:
Han Yumeng’s Crossing River follows a group Chinese construction workers
Kei Chikaura’s Signature centres on a young Chinese man lost in the middle of Shibuya.
The 70th Locarno Film Festival runs from 2nd – 10th August, 2017. You can find full details for all films as well as the complete lineup on the official festival website, and you can keep up with all the latest developments via the Festival’s Facebook Page, Twitter account, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.