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Korean film festival comes to London

Take a look at two new Korean films to explore homo and trans issues

The London Korean Film Festival (LKFF) returns for its seventh year with its selection of the best Korean films, sports, events and UK premieres - giving us Brits a diverse and dynamic look into the Asian culture. 
 
The festival kicks off in November and features two films exploring the nature of homosexuality and transgendered issues in Korean society. Both movies, which have already won rave reviews worldwide, will definitely have their fair share of tears, heart-wrenching moments—but more importantly tasty Asian men for us to oggle over. 
 
The film is directed by Leesong Hee-il, an openly gay film director from South Korea, who gained worldwide attention and critical acclaim for directing the first ‘real’ Korean gay feature is back with a gritty tense drama. 
 
White Night follows the life of an openly gay man, Kang Won-Gyu, who travels back to Seoul after living in Germany for two years. Upon returning home for the first time after being viciously beaten for being gay, he is shocked to learn that his abusers have been freed from prison, plaguing him with more insecurities about returning home. 
 
He meets his former lover and is urged by him to forget about the past and move on with his life.  
 
The movie is inspired by true events and Hee-il manages to consciously creep in familiar territory by pushing the boundaries of exploring South Korean gay culture. This film cements Hee-il as being a pioneer in the gay Korean film scene.  

The Weight is a dark yet fantastically quirky plot. The epic is centered on a hunchback mortician named Jung, and his younger effervescent and highly eccentric brother whose only dream in life is to become a woman.  

Adopted by a woman who keeps him in the attic forcing him to sow dresses for her, coupled with his ailing medical condition, Jung’s only solace is in working in a morgue where he fantasizes with dancing with the dead and escaping his mundane surroundings. 
 
Already a recipient of a Queer Lion prize at this year’s Venice International Film Festival, the film explores the correlation between fantasy and reality, coupled with the exploration of sexual identity and belonging. A twisted, sexed up Pans Labyrinth meets Queer Eye for the Straight Guy plot seems appeasing and futuristic.  
 
Fans who aren’t in London can catch a selection of festival highlights in cinemas across Kingston Upon Thames, Glasgow, Bristol and Bournemouth. 
 
The Weight premieres on Friday 2 November and White Night Friday 9 November, and you can purchase tickets here

Words: Balraj Bains

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