There are so many films on at the Melbourne International Film Festival it’s a daunting task knowing where to begin. Among the huge range of diverse and fascinating Asian films at the festival and Peril Magazine has compiled a list of some that have caught our eye.
Documentary film maker, Daniel Ziv follows the life of three buskers as they try and earn enough to eat busking on Jakarta’s busy streets. The film follows their lives over a five year period and gives an insight into the busy and chaotic metropolis of 10 million people.
Iranian-American, Desiree Akhavan writes, directs and stars in this drama that explores belonging and identity. Following a break up, Shirin, who is a bi-sexual American Iranian woman, begin to reflect on her life and belonging in modern-day Brooklyn.
Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll
Before the Khmer Rouge, in the 1960s Cambodian youth built a hugely popular new type of music combining pop, funk, soul, rock and traditional Cambodian sounds. Film maker John Pirozzi unearths many surviving relics and creates a portrait of a thriving rock and roll scene that the Khmer Rouge tried to erase.
Journey to the West
Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang creates this film of evocative images that follows a Buddhist monk who walks slowly through the streets of Marseille. The monk, Lee Kang-sheng’s journey crosses paths with French film icon Denis Lavant in this minimalist film.
In Muslim communities in Southern India civil disputes, divorce and domestic violence are settled by all-male councils that women are not allowed to attend. Film maker Deepa Dhanraj focuses on the story of Sharifa Khanman who seeks to set up the first women’s Jamaat (council) to hold the male Jamaats accountable.
In Fantasia director Wang Chao paints a picture of working class China through the life of a mother who struggles to make ends meet following the hospitalisation of her husband with leukaemia. The film explores the psychological effects of death and offers a social critique of contemporary China.
Famed anime film maker Mizuho Nishikubo follows the story of a family who live on Kuril Islands as they are invaded by the Soviet Union in the aftermath of World War II. The story is one of friendship, family and joy in the face of despair Giovanni and his brother struggle to survive in an internment camp.
This debut feature documentary by director Byamba Sakhya follows the life of a teenage boy Tsog who though from a nomadic family settles in the capital Ulan Bator. The film is a coming of age story that serves as a parable for the modernisation of Mongolia.