Delicate and in its own way merciless portrait of three generations of a family in today’s Korea, Moving On is a remarkable film, a very pleasant surprise from the Turin 38 competition.
While the Turin Festival competition reaches the middle of its path, after a few interlocutory titles, one pleasant surprise comes from Korea, with the grace of a daily family portrait à la Kore-eda and the ruthlessness of social roles in that contradictory and fascinating Asian country.
Moving On is the first work of the young director Yoon Dan-bi, fresh from four awards at the Busan festival, the most important in Korea, and from recognition as a promise of the future in Rotterdam. In short, a very pleasant surprise, his film, but which already arrives with an appreciation obtained around the world. The film takes us to the gates of the great metropolis Seoul, during the summer holidays, when Okju and Donju are brother and sister litigars, forced by their father in economic crisis to move to the home of their grandfather, elderly and run down, and apparently no longer very lucid.
The smallest boy, Donju, easily adapts to the garden and cottage, while the restless teenager Okju is constantly sulky and uncomfortable. Things change when the aunt arrives, at loggerheads and ready to divorce with her husband, who manages to involve even the oldest in the lazy summer days, building a collective, family dynamic that they have never known. The grandfather, however, falls ill, and aunt and father seriously reflect on the possibility of selling the house, closing the head of the family in a nursing home.
A story, we are told, very personal, based on the experience of Yoon Dan-bi, which leads us into complex dynamics of the various generations of a Korean family, at times so impersonal and anaffective as to be incomprehensible to us Italians. It is certainly not as ruthless as the class study Parasite, in which families were confronted with the violence of relations between social nuclei, but Moving On, albeit with grace and elegance, he knows how to draw hard brushstrokes on the utilitarian dimension of relations between generations, with the elderly expendable for the economic crisis of the children, and in general the mutual attendance so limited as to prevent the construction of a true supportive and affectionate network, useful as protection in case of difficulty and as an example to support the education and growth of the youngest.
Moving On takes the time to delude a credible, and melancholy portrait of the loneliness of each of its characters, from the grandfather who is treated like an ornament, and has to wait for the night to enjoy his solitary moments listening to poignant songs, thinking about his dead wife, sipping some nephew obsessed like many compatriots by the size of the eyes, and dreams of enlarging them with a plastic surgery. An unexpected path of forced coexistence that will allow, through first a work of reflection on oneself, even the family as a whole to take shape through a never tried mutual love, even if the melancholy of a pleasure discovered later, perhaps prevails. even too late.
Always in competition a confirmation of the original vitality of Brazilian cinema. Antiques house it’s another film that comes from there and looks for original sensory keys, one visionary that uses the great variety and cultural and spiritual richness of that infinite country to tell the increasingly serious crisis of work.
Yet another humiliation strikes a man who has been working for many years in a European-owned dairy, German to be precise, the language that accompanies much of the film. “We came here to innovate”, a term so abused by those who are about to drop the cleaver, a true North Star. “We have to close and move it from north to south”, the company boss then tells the worker, disturbing and threatening with his speeches a thousand times heard on the need ” everyone make a little effort“. What do you mean? The salary will go down, of course.
Ours will move to the rich south, with the stigmata and the color of the skin that recall the poor people of the north, ending up occupying a ruined wooden house and having many problems in settling into the new reality, like an alien, a foreign body . The rural reality is portrayed as if it were a Nazi summer colony, between kids wandering around in Bermuda shorts and rifles and pouring beer, complete with Bavarian folk dances. Metaphorical, more and more gloomy and obscure, Casa de antiguidades is the story of the increasing arrogance of economic power and of the primordial reaction, more and more ferocious of those who suffer it. It gets lost in idle turns, perhaps even fascinating, but a bit ‘ends in themselves, but contains many interesting elements.