The London Korean Film Festival 2011

by Malin Arvidsson

The month of November saw the Korean Film Festival swoop down on the city of London. The city is still in recovery from the big BFI London Film Festival, but there’s always room for a niche festival. Our correspondant Malin Arvidsson checked out the festival for us. Here’s what she thought:

Suicide Forcast
London Korean Film Festival
10th Nov 2011

“Enjoy Suicide!” the PR lady said, and I was hoping she didn’t mean my own. Although I assumed not as the name of the film I was going to see was “Suicide Forecast”.

After trying to find the ICA for 30 minutes and then finding out that they didn’t serve popcorn, I was in a slightly bad mood as the film started, which could have resulted in me not enjoying the beginning. I found the jokes too basic and the fact that lots of people around me were laughing at them annoyed me. And I had the feeling they couldn’t think of a better way to tell the story than to get the main character to talk to himself constantly. But halfway through the film, it started to feel more like the kind of Korean film I had expected – slightly crazy in a good way.

The story is about a superficial, career-driven guy who, in order to become the top life insurance seller in the company, also sells insurances to people with a history of suicide. When one of them commits suicide, he realises he’s in trouble and he has to make sure all his potential suicide clients change their life insurance to pension insurance before the non-payable time limit of two years ends. But it turns out to be harder than he’d expected and he ends up in situations he would never have imagined in order to stop them from committing suicide. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who’s into the Asian film market, although it’s probably not a film I would see twice.

I would have loved to see more films at the Korean Film Festival as I love Korean film, but the dates I was available seemed to be fully booked. The ICA was packed with both Koreans and Europeans so it was obvious that this festival is one popular event!

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