Cover Hirokazu Koreeda's "Broker" is one of the Asian movies screening at the Cannes Film Festival 2022 (Photo: CJ E&M)

These Asian films are gracing the 2022 Cannes Film Festival stage

The prestigious Cannes Film Festival returns for its 75th edition. Taking place from May 17–20, the festival is running at full spectator capacity after two years following the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions in France.

This year, a notable number of Asian films are screening and having their premieres at the film festival. Here are some of the movies that are gracing the Cannes Film Festival stage.

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Broker by Hirokazu Koreeda

Palme d’Or-winning director Hirokazu Koreeda returns to Cannes for his new film Broker. The movie is the Japanese director’s first Korean feature.

The plot is perhaps inspired by the real-life baby box in South Korea. Pastor Lee Jong-rak and his wife rescues the babies who are abandoned in the “drop box”.

The movie follows Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho) and Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won) who helps find new parents for babies left in a box. The pair becomes involved with a young mother So-young (IU), who left her baby in the box but decided to take the baby back.

Decision to Leave by Park Chan-wook

Decision to Leave is famed South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s first movie in six years following The Handmaiden in 2016. It will be competing for the Palme d’Or.

The movie is about a detective (Park Hae-il) who falls for a mysterious widow (Tang Wei). As it turns out, she’s the prime suspect in his latest murder investigation.

Joyland by Saim Sadiq

Joyland is the first Pakistani film to screen in the Official Selection category of the Cannes Film Festival.

The movie marks the feature debut of writer and director Saim Sadiq. His short film Darling took home the Orizzonti Best Short Film at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.

Joyland tells the story of a patriarchal family yearning for a baby boy to continue the family line. Unknown to the parents, their youngest son joins an erotic dance theatre and falls for the trans scarlet.

Plan 75 by Chie Hayawaka

Chie Hayakawa’s Plan 75 is having its world premiere in Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard category. Hayakawa is best known for her short films Identify This Girl and Photography of Zero. She also directed Ten Years Japan, inspired by the omnibus film from Hong Kong.

The movie is set in Japan in the near future where a government program, Plan 75 encourages senior citizens to be voluntarily euthanised in order to remedy an ageing society.

It follows the story of an elderly woman whose only means of survival is to vanish, a Plan 75 salesman and a young Filipino labourer facing the choice of life and death.

Retour à Séoul by Davy Chou

Davy Chou’s Retour à Séoul (Return to Seoul) is competing in the Un Certain Regard category.

The feature centres on Freddie, a 25-year-old (Park Ji-min) who returns to South Korea for the first time since being adopted and raised in France. She starts looking for her biological parents in a country that feels so foreign.

Hunt by Lee Jung-jae

Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae makes his feature directorial debut, Hunt. The espionage action film is selected for the Midnight Screening section of the Cannes Film Festival.

The movie is set in the 1980s when the military dictatorship in South Korea reached its peak. KCIA Foreign Unit chef Park Pyong-ho (Lee) and Domestic Unit chief Kim Jung-do (Jung Woo-sung) team up to uncover a North Korean spy Donglim, hiding within their agency.

See also: 10 Lee Jung-Jae Movies and Shows to Watch

All That Breathes by Shaunak Sen

Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes is selected for the Special Screening section of the Cannes Film Festival.

The 90-minute documentary focuses on environmental issues. It follows two Indian brothers, Saud and Nadeem who rescue and treat injured birds. They run a bird clinic in Delhi and have made it their life’s work to care for the injured creatures.

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