Family on Screen: Punch
The traditional status of “family” has undergone significant changes during Korea’s rapidly changing modern history. Western values took hold during the reconstruction after the War, industrialization, urbanization, the financial crisis, the subsequent recovery of the economy and the recent rise of its pop culture paved way to the reemergence of a new form of nationalism borne out of self-interest to survive. Traditional relationships among the state, market, society, and family are constantly shifting, and the foundation of families shaken. It has become brutally clear that no one – not the government, society, or the market would take responsibility for families; to maintain a family, individuals need to survive on their own, and not to become a burden to other family members. An era of individualism, competition, and innovation has arrived as a worldwide phenomenon, not sparing Asia. In collaboration with the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Hong Kong, Asia Society Hong Kong Center will present 4 films selected from the Korean Film Archive that will provide a glimpse through Korean filmmakers’ lenses of some the factors pertaining to such a shift in family values in contemporary Korea. All films are in Korean with English subtitles, supplementary theme-related reading materials written by scholars and film critics will be provided at each screening.
Punch (2011 / Dir. Lee Han / 107 minutes)
Wan-deuk, a troubled high school student, lives with his father in a poor and unprivileged household. They live next door to Wan-deuk’s homeroom teacher, Dong-ju, who treats his students with equal harshness. One day, Dong-ju suggests that Wan-deuk meet his birth mother, Lee Suk-gi, who is of Filipino descent. Although Wan-deuk is confused, he continues to meet his mother and begins to open his heart to his family and neighbor’s affections. Soon, he becomes mesmerized by the allure of kickboxing and becomes friends with his classmates Yoon-ha and Hyuk-ju.
Supported by Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Hong Kong