This year's International Film Festival Documentary Amsterdam (IFDA) winner for Best Feature-Length Documentary will be getting a release at London's ICA theater courtesy of Dogwoof starting on June 22. Lee Seung-jun's Planet of Snail has been having a strong festival run and needless to say this is a rare opportunity to catch a Korean documentary on the big screen. In addition, Lee will be in attendance on June 23 for a special Q&A screening! Dogwoof's press release describes the film as follows:
'Planet of Snail is an unique, refreshing, often funny film that demystifies what life means for people who live with physical impairments.
The film focuses on the relationship between Young-Chan who is deaf-blind and describes himself as a 'snail' because he only uses his tactile senses and his wife Soon-Ho who has a spinal injury. They communicate by touch - gently tapping on each other's fingers, and navigate the trials of daily life with slow, tender shared experiences; the changing of a light bulb is an hour-long, methodical process. But Young-Chan and Soon-Ho will not be together forever and she will not always be there as his eyes and ears to the world, the couple needs to learn the painful process of navigating life without each other.'
While the story does sound quite melodramatic and brings to mind a number of sentimental Korean films, the country's documentaries have proven to be very effective works that illuminate their subjects with respect and grace, such as 2009's wonderful Old Partner. Catch it if you can!