When it comes to the question that what is the function of film festivals, the first thing emerged in my mind is to celebrate the success of the film industry. According to our lecture, the film festival has three main characteristics that can’t be ignored: To make contributions in achieving certain goals in the political, social and economic sector; To provide a place for filmmakers to discuss, exchange and boost new thoughts upon various issues; To raise and collect voices for subaltern groups. These narratives were highly convinced After I attended the 9th Korean film festival in Australia.
The first movie I chose to watch in KOFFIA was A Taxi Driver, a great movie which tells a devastated tragic story happened in Gwangju, South Korea 1980. The movie was created based on true historical events which are a period of distressing history. A political movement occurred in Gwangju after the president was assassinated at that time. When the authority was turned over to a high-rank military officer, they began to carry out a series of rules which was brutal. The country becomes a mess, the people’s life was awful and miserable. Any public or student protest even the news report about the event at that time will get suppress, shot and violent responses by the governor. A taxi driver who witnessed this unfair and brutal violence decided to assist a German reporter to cover and record the event and find an opportunity to send it out of the country. The film is touching and thought-provoking. Forty years have passed since the event happened, many people still tore especially when they saw people’s crying and shouting on the screen. The nationality can’t be the dividing line in feel touched by the movie, and this is the charm and function of the film festivals which it should continue to stay on.
As what referred before, the function of the film festival is to make contributions in achieving political, social and economic goals. The art of film and film festivals cannot be separated from its politics. A Taxi Driver was exhibited to show their attitude of facing their history although it is distressing and ruthless. They did not try to hide or avoid mentioning this event but show it globally what they experienced and learned in their history. To display it on a global screen identifies KOFFIA hope to express their national identity and the selfhood under the political press. In my opinion, this highly triggered people’s independent perspective upon the history, rethink and discuss the history from the perspective of humanity will undoubtedly bring about more social issues.
Overall, KOFFIA has successfully engendered the national identity of Korean and trigger a huge discussion of the film and the social issuer behind it which can be regarded as the key factor considered as a successful film festival in my personal perspective.