If like me you were bored by the recent release of Kim Ki-duk’s self-indulgent documentary and professional suicide note Arirang, you can expect something a lot better from Yi Seung-jun’s documentary Planet of Snail. If the K-pop bash at the Dome this Saturday is not your thing, a civilised time can be had at the ICA with a Q&A with the director following the 6:15pm screening. Here’s what Christopher Bourne at Twitch had to say: “This is an extraordinary work that is one of the most life-affirming viewing experiences I’ve ever had”. I take it that it’s seriously worth seeing then. In fact I’ve been looking forward to it so much for so long that I named it LKL’s film of the year last year.
Watch the trailer, read the press release, then go buy a ticket. It’s only 87 minutes, and has a short season 22-28 June.
Planet of Snail
WINNER – Best Feature-Length Documentary – IDFA, 2011
In cinemas 22 June 2012
“An elegant and moving documentary… a real joy” Screen Daily
Seung-Jun Yi’s second feature Planet of Snail, which won the prestigious Best Feature Length Documentary prize at IDFA, is a lyrical and gentle story that deftly touches on the world of disability. Out in UK cinemas 22 June 2012 courtesy of Dogwoof, 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.
Young-Chan comes from the Planet of Snail. Dwellers of this tiny planet are deaf and blind, and call themselves ‘snails’ because they rely only on their tactile senses, and communicating by touch.
When Young-Chan came to Earth, there was nothing Earth offered him. Worse was that nobody understood his language. When he was desperate, an angel walked into his life. Soon-Ho is a woman who knows what loneliness is about and where Young-Chan’s deeply rooted pain comes from. She soon becomes an inseparable part of his life. She is a wife, a soul mate and a window and a bridge to the world for him. Each mundane moment of every routine day becomes tender shared experiences whether it be the hour-long process of changing a simple light bulb, hugging trees and smelling pine cones on the threshold of spring, or the feeling of raindrops landing on the skin. Young-Chan also discovers an amazing world under his fingers. Since he learned to read books with braille, hopes and dreams began to grow in Young-Chan’s heart. He dreams of writing a book. However, Soon-Ho worries about Young-Chan’s future because she cannot always be there for him as she is suffering from her own problem of spine disability. The couple now needs to learn how to survive alone. While Soon-Ho uneasily spends her first day alone waiting for his return, Young-Chan goes out for the biggest adventure of his life.
- Planet of Snail official website
- Planet of Snail microsite at Dogwoof, the distributors
- Buy tickets at the ICA
(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.