Warsaw’s Five Flavours Film Festival is the latest to go online in these troubled times. Streaming in Poland 25th November to 6th December the 14th edition of the nation’s premier showcase for East Asian film once again boasts a fantastic selection of recent hits from across the region.
- Wisdom Tooth – A young woman’s pain and confusion with the world around her is manifested as a dull ache in her jaw in Liang Ming’s icy coming-of-age drama. Review.
- Apart – Star-crossed lovers find themselves pulled in different directions while Hong Kong finds itself at a crossroads in Chan Chit-man’s youth drama following a group of Umbrella Movement students into the Anti-Extradition Bill era. Review.
- Lost in the Fumes – documentary following politician and activist Edward Leung
- Witness Out of the Blue – An eccentric policeman investigates a murder based on the testimony of the only eyewitness, a parrot, in Fung’s absurdist noir thriller. Review.
- Memories to Choke on Drinks to Wash them Down – Leung Ming Kai & Kate Reilly’s omnibus film explores the unique culture of Hong Kong at a moment of crisis through four very different stories. Review.
- My Prince Edward – A young woman begins to consider her choices when her controlling boyfriend proposes and she’s forced to deal with the fallout from a sham marriage in Norris Wong’s humorous exploration of contemporary relationships. Review.
- Suk Suk – two elderly, closeted men meet by chance and fall in love.
- Trivisa – three part omnibus directed by young directors discovered as part of Johnnie To’s Fresh Wave programme. Review.
- Gundala – superhero action from Joko Anwar.
- Impetigore – Joko Anwar horror in which a woman returns to her village to claim an inheritance but is caught up in sinister goings on.
- Bento Harassment – a harried mother bonds with her distant adolescent daughter by trolling her with bento! Review.
- Bittersweet – lowkey BL drama in which a young woman with an irrational loathing of vegetables is encouraged to make peace with her rural roots after falling for a gay guy who happens to be a vegetarian. Review.
- Daughters – flatmates attempt to deal with unplanned pregnancy.
- Kamome Diner – surreal drama in which a middle-aged woman opens a cafe in Finland and bonds with a group of similarly displaced Japanese women.
- One Night – adult children are forced to face the legacy of trauma and abuse when their mother returns after 15 years of exile in Shiraishi’s raw family drama. Review.
- The Takatsu River – laidback rural drama in which a middle-aged man desperately tries to preserve the art of Kagura dance.
- The Tale of Samurai Cooking – period drama in which a moody samurai is forced to learn the culinary arts.
- Under the Open Sky – A pure-hearted man of violence struggles to find his place in society after spending most of his life behind bars in Miwa Nishikawa’s impassioned character study. Review.
- A Hard Day – a corrupt policeman runs a man over on the day of his mother’s funeral and comes up with an ingenious place to hide the body.
- Beasts Clawing at Straws – An elusive Louis Vuitton bag full of cash sends a collection of disparate souls into a desperate frenzy in Kim Yong-hoon’s darkly humorous thriller. Review.
- Beauty Water – animation in which a woman who believes herself ugly tries an experimental treatment to make herself beautiful.
- Dust and Ashes – a young woman enduring extreme poverty finds herself dealing with the unthinkable.
- Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 – an ordinary woman is pushed to breaking point by the cognitive dissonance of living in a fiercely patriarchal society in Kim Do-young’s sensitive drama. Review.
- Little Forest – beautifully laidback drama in which a young woman returns to her country home after becoming weary of the city. Review.
- Loser’s Adventure – three hapless young men chase wrestling glory.
- Lucky Chan-sil – a producer undergoes an existential crisis when her longterm collaborator suddenly dies in Kim Cho-hee’s charmingly whimsical drama. Review.
- Mermaid Unlimited – light comedy in which a government body decides to recruit a team of traditional Haenyo divers as a warmup act for a synchronised swimming competition.
- Microhabitat – a young woman living in poverty couch surfs when priced out of life’s only pleasures. Review.
- Geran – martial arts drama showcasing Malaysian Silat in which siblings try to find their younger brother after he runs off with the deed to their family home.
- Sometime, Sometime – the relationship between mother and son is tested when mum gets a boyfriend.
- Sea Serpent – atmospheric island drama in which three siblings lose their father at sea.
- Verdict – a woman suffering domestic abuse tries to get help after her drunken husband hurts their child but struggles to find justice in a patriarchal society.
- Not My Mother’s Baking – sweet rom-com in which a muslim Malay chef falls for a Chinese guy whose family run a roast pork stall.
- Boluomi – a young Malaysian student bonds with a lonely Filipina migrant worker.
- Ohong Village – a young man returns to his home village after experiencing disappointment in the city
- Rom – The residents of a rundown slum awaiting demolition stake everything on lucky numbers in Trần Thanh Huy’s gritty portrait of modern Saigon. Review.
- Mekong 2030 – five directors from different nations along the Mekong River contemplate what life might be like in 10 years’ time in this five-part omnibus. Review.
Five Flavours streams in Poland 25th November to 6th December. More information on all the films as well as streaming windows and links can be found on the official website, and you can keep up with all the latest news via the festival’s Facebook Page, Twitter Account, Instagram, and YouTube Channels.