Busan International Film Festival 2020
Berlin Film Festival 2021
Florence Korean Film Festival 2021
2020 Busan International Film Festival-Actor of the Year/NETPAC AWARD
2021 Florence Korean Film Festival-Korean Horizons Jury Award
Lim Seong-mi, Baek Seo-bin
Life is a constant struggle for Jina. For this North Korean refugee who has just arrived in Seoul, life is all about verbal abuse, grinding hours in low-paying jobs to support herself, and adapting to an environment she doesn't understand. Her interactions with those around her force her to endure the unacceptable, with eyes cast down. And her reunion with her biological mother, who abandoned her at the age of 12 to flee the dictatorship, proves to be frosty. Alone, against all odds, Jina has no intention of giving up and gets a job as a cleaner in a women’s boxing gym. While she still endures the taunts of the athletes at first, she nevertheless catches the eye of the coach. Reluctant at first, Jina decides to train and shows promise. She befriends the coach's assistant and thrives in this new life, but she realizes that her main struggle will be outside the ring.
Hailed at the prestigious Berlinale and the Busan Film Festival, where it won the NTPAC award as well as the Performer of the Year award, this masterful work by award-winning director and screenwriter Jero Yun (BEAUTIFUL DAYS) plunges us into a reality that is rarely visited on an ordinary human level: the adaptation of a North Korean refugee once she is freed from dictatorship. Yun judiciously uses close-up shots highlighting the glances and silences that say much more than words, thanks to near-surgical editing. Displaying a transcendent presence as she occupies almost every frame of the film, actress Lim Seong-mi (MY PUNCH-DRUNK BOXER) gives the performance of a lifetime in both her physical acting and the emotion she conveys. FIGHTER metaphorically manipulates the codes of the boxing drama, evoking ROCKY, to deliver a moving, powerful and hopeful work. – Translation: Rupert Bottenberg
Winning praise from Martin Scorsese, HAN GONG-JU verges on perfection. It’s impossible to remain unmoved by this drama, as relevant as it is powerful.
The legendary Koji Yakusho delivers one of his most moving performances in this repentant yakuza drama by Miwa Nishikawa.
Kin Long Chan
Petty crook Kwan must decide where his loyalties and fortune lie. Drama, suspense, humour and action in the neon-soaked underbelly of Hong Kong.