Counters

Lee Il-ha
  • Korea
  • 2017
  • 96min
  • DCP
  • Color/B&W
  • World Premiere
CompetitionInternational Competition

Screening Schedule

  • 09월 23일 19:30-21:06 상영코드 204 메가박스 백석 2관 12 Q&A
  • 09월 25일 14:30-16:06 상영코드 421 메가박스 파주출판도시 1관 12 Q&A
  • 09월 28일 15:10-16:46 상영코드 805 메가박스 백석 7관 12
* Unless follwing Subtitle code is marked, all films will have English subtitles.
N None English dialogue without English subtitle
K Korean dialogue without English subtitle
ND No Dialogue

Synopsis

Since 2013, Japan's extreme-right racist group has organized more than 1000 hate speeches around the nation. A schoolteacher, a deliveryman, a politician, an architect, and other ordinary citizens form a coalition to ‘counter’ the racist group, calling for the awakening of Japanese conscience. Spearheading the civic group, our problematic protagonist Takahashi, a former mid-level Yakuza boss is reborn, determined to fight against racism and discrimination.

Director

  • Lee Il-ha
    A Crybaby Boxing (2015)
    Goldfish and Razor (2010)
    Roadmentary (2008)
    Latte Index (2006)
Director's Statement
“Kill every Korean, good or bad,” calls a junior high school student on the street. Hate speech, which is speech disparaging a racial, sexual, or ethnic group or a member of such a group, is made at the heart of Japan every day. On the other side, there are protesters against the hate speakers. They occupy the streets to block the march of racist demonstration. The reality of both countries’ societies turning rightists after passing the era of high economic growth. Looking into the struggling civil societies opposing this, we bring forth a serious question: “what society do we really live in and where is the value of these societies?

Review

The issue of 'hatred' is not new to Koreans anymore. In fact, the advent of anti-immigrant hate would not be bizarre in South Korea’s state of deepening misogyny and hatred for the disabled.
In the neighboring country of Japan, Zainichis(Korean residents in Japan) are symbolic beings of the Chosun Dynasty’s unfortunate colonization in the early 20th century, but are undeniably the social members and the citizens of contemporary Japan at the same time. Nevertheless, discrimination against the Zainichi is prevalent, with a far-right organization called 'Jaitokai' taking the lead in this protest of hatred.
Then one day, the 'Counters (The opposers of discrimination protests),' more specifically men called the 'Otokogumi (男組),' make an appearance. They either threaten or physically interfere with the Jaitokai protestors whenever there is a protest of hatred. Takahashi, the commander of these troubleshooters of hate protests, is a yakuza-like macho. The reason why this man of the dark led the anti-protest group is quite ironic. It is because he thinks Jaitokai protestors are unjust and not 'manly(!)' enough.
This film is never boring due to the speedy editing of the film and its use of CG, lively cinematography resembling a game interface or an action film, and the fast development of sequences. <Counters> pulls down the stereotype that documentaries are too difficult to understand. Above all, it offers food for thought to Korea’s reality with its grave issue of hatred. [Hong Jae-hee]

Credits

  • Director, Cinematographer, Editor  Lee Il-ha
  • Music  Noh Young-rae

Distribution / World Sales

  • Contribution & World Sales  Lee Ilha
  • E-Mail  exposedfilm2000@gmail.com
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