본문 바로가기 메뉴 바로가기
전체메뉴

Letters From BIFF Programmers

For some, going to the movies may simply be a source of entertainment to kill time, but surely everyone has had a special experience going to the movies in childhood. Treading upon the soft carpet and holding parents’ hands, we would find our seats in the theater. When the lights dim, dancing images on the lit-up screen would unveil a magical experience of becoming one with tens, hundreds, thousands of people.

I remember the summer of 1982, when Elliot flew towards the moon with E.T. on the bicycle, I could not help but clap and exclaim along with the audience. As soon as we exited the theater, I asked my parents for the colorful chocolates.

영화이미지
Reminiscing on old memories, the challenging task of watching hundreds of submissions alone in a dark room all spring and summer was not painful but rather gratifying. These are films that survived the pandemic, films that deserve to be shared with the world. Among them, today I would like to introduce My Tender Matador, a film made in Chile, on the other side of the world from Korea.
영화이미지
The film is set in 1980s Santiago towards the end of its Military Junta, during which citizens suffering under the regime of Pinochet, comparable to Park Chung-hee in Korea, took their struggles out to the streets. “The Queen of the Corner,” who was born male but has lived her life as a woman, decided to “keep some art books” for a handsome activist who has helped her before. But unlike Yeon-hee in director Jang Jun-hwan’s 1987: When the Day Comes (2017) for whom an encounter with a handsome activist provided an opportunity for her to become radicalized, Queen expresses political apathy saying that it doesn’t matter whether it’s the fascists or the communists in charge, because of who she is she’ll always be considered scum.
영화이미지
My Tender Matador is based on the homonymous novel by Pedro Remebel, an author and a social activist. In conservative Chilean society where homosexuality was a punishable crime before 2000, Remebel is heralded as the defender of sexual minorities’ human rights. Rodrigo Sepúlveda, who visited Busan when his 2014 film Aurora was invited to the Flash Forward section, decided to focus on Queen instead of explicitly dealing with the sociopolitical elements in the novel. Such artistic choice made by the director in fact does a more effective job at exploring the zeitgeist.
영화이미지
What a brave thing it is to love another soul completely. Without the courage to face each other’s pains and embrace their faults, without the courage to overcome the fear that one’s treasured feelings may be reciprocated as mere curiosity or sympathy, many people turn away from love or answer it coldly. Despite it all, Queen, who has lived her whole life under discriminatory looks and hurtful ridicules, walks towards the police line with trembling steps. That poignant moment is a fearless declaration of her love, and it feels as moving and liberating as the blissful scene in which the couple escape their small and dark apartment to enjoy a picnic in glorious daylight.

At the crossroads of life and death in confusing and cruel times, is love a luxury? Since there is no right answer, one has no choice but to keep going forward. Like a matador facing an ox under the beating rays of sun, Queen does not turn away from the loneliness; instead, she bravely stands to face it.
박가언 월드 프로그래머

By World Cinema Programmer Karen PARK