- World Premiere
The Asian Angel
Director: ISHII Yuya (石井裕也)
2021｜Japan｜128min｜Language: Japanese, Korean, English｜Subtitles: English, Japanese
|3/14 Sun||17:10||ABC Hall 《Closing》|
- IKEMATSU Sosuke (池松壮亮)
ODAGIRI Joe (オダギリジョー)
Following the death of his wife, young novelist AOKI Takeshi (IKEMATSU Sosuke) has been raising his eight-year-old son Manabu alone. He quits Japan with his boy and travels to Seoul hoping to stay with his estranged older brother Toru (ODAGIRI Joe) but what he discovers is that his brother's life is nothing like he was told as the man struggles to make a living importing dubious cosmetics. In a foreign land and barely able to speak the language, when Toru’s business partner disappears on him, Takeshi must step up and help his brother in another scheme somewhere in the countryside.
Meanwhile, a struggling singer named CHOI Seol (Moon CHOI) is embroiled in a relationship with the controlling president of her talent agency. With no parents to call on and an older brother and younger sister to support, Seol submits to the pressure her label puts her under to perform what they tell her but when she is dropped by them and dumped by her lover she loses her purpose in life. Cast adrift, she heads to her family home in the countryside and this is when she fatefully meets Takeshi…
In this film, where there are various divisions between people, the story places characters who share their pain together to create a new type of “Asian Family Movie” that will illuminate a new era.
- About the cast and crew
“The Asian Angel” is an original film by writer/director ISHII Yuya, a young talent who rose to prominence with his hit 2013 film “The Great Passage” (舟を編む) which netted him a number of Best Director accolades, including one at the 2013 Japanese Academy Awards. His global reputation rose further with “The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue” (映画 夜空はいつでも最高密度の青色だ/2017) for which he was given Best Director at the 2018 Asian Film Awards. “The Asian Angel” was shot entirely in Korea with a cast and staff that was 95% Korean.
Taking the lead role is Japanese actor IKEMATSU Sosuke, a young talent who has worked with influential directors like KORE-EDA Hirokazu (是枝裕和), TSUKAMOTO Shinya (塚本晋也) and also ISHII, appearing in a number of his films including “The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue”. The lead female role was taken by Korean star Moon CHOI, a popular actress who came to prominence for her award-winning performance in “Anarchist from Colony” (2017: OAFF 2018 Opening Work), and “Our Body” (2018: screened at OAFF 2019). They are joined by veteran actor ODAGIRI Joe who appeared in “The Great Passage” and who has collaborated with Korean filmmakers such as KIM Ki-duk and KANG Je-kyu. The South Korean crew includes Director of Photography KIM Jong-sun, whose work includes “Alive” (2014) while the music is by PARK In-young, whose scores include “Pieta” (2014).
Filming took place from February to March last year and ISHII has commented how they were able to miraculously complete the shoot safely despite the issues presented by the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Distributor in Japan