HIFF40: Watch these 5 engaging films from East Asia

By Brandon Kubo | November 11, 2020

Looking for some drama filled, action packed East Asian films at HIFF40? Maybe you’re itching to watch a suspenseful thriller instead? HIFF is best known for curating a selection of Asia’s biggest films and this year is no different that may be hard to decide which ones to watch. Here are 5 movies that you should definitely check out using your HIFF40 ALL-ACCESS PASS!

FUKUSHIMA 50
Japan

In March 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake rocked the eastern coast of Japan and caused a mega-tsunami that may have been over 100 feet high. The tsunami struck the seaside Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and caused the most severe nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986. FUKUSHIMA 50 is the first Japanese film to directly depict the disaster, and features the fifty brave, selfless individuals who volunteered to stay behind and contain the crisis.

GONE WITH THE LIGHT (被光抓走的人)
China

From director Dong Runnian, and starring Huang Bo, GONE WITH THE LIGHT, is a story of change and profound self-reflection. When a mysterious light appears in a Chinese city causing people to suddenly disappear, a school teacher, a soon to be divorcee and a young girl in love find their lives upended. Beautifully shot with piercing performances and strong dialogue, GONE WITH THE LIGHT is a provocative tale that takes viewers on an emotional journey through the highs and lows of human existence.

DETENTION (返校)
Taiwan ROC

It is 1962, during the White Terror period of martial law in Taiwan, and something strange is going on in a remote mountainside school. Fang is a troubled twelfth grader who finds solace in the arms of guidance counselor, Zhang. She soon realizes that Zhang is leading a secret study group that reads books that have been banned by the government, a liberating but also risky endeavor. One day, Zhang vanishes into thin air, and only Fang and Wei, an eleventh grader, remember him. Together, Fang and Wei start looking for the disappeared teacher but find the school gradually slipping out of the world they are familiar with… a realm dominated by ghosts and spirits, where they discover the terrifying truth.

MY PRINCE EDWARD
Hong Kong SAR China

From writer-director Norris Wong, MY PRINCE EDWARD examines a whimsical tale of freedom in marriage and self-governance in geographical residence. Fong works in a retail store selling wedding supplies. But social pressure to marry impedes on her daily life. Fong reacts by redefining the meaning of happiness with wisdom and wit. But while fairytales feed the romantics, anyone would cheer for a woman seeking independence in a new age of Hong Kong cinema.

THE SWORDSMAN
South Korea

Based on the chaotic Ming-Qing transition during early-16th century Korea, the region’s greatest swordsman vanishes after failing to protect his king. While returning to the city to purchase some treatment for his looming blindness, the swordsman’s daughter is kidnapped by a power-hungry member of the Qing family. To save his daughter, the swordsman must pick up his sword again and stand up to these foreign aggressors.

 

HIFF40 Limited and All-Access Passes provide the best value to view as many films online via HIFF’s streaming platform. Buy your pass today!