South Korean director Shin Dong-il is Helsinki Cine Aasia’s this year’s guest of honour


The guest of honour of the fifth Helsinki Cine Aasia -festival – which kicks off next week – is South Korea’s master of intimate drama, Shin Dong-il. With his films, Shin Dong-il challenges the viewer to self-reflect and to question the divide into us and them. This applies also to his latest directorial work, Come, Together (2016), which will be screened at Helsinki Cine Aasia.

Come, Together portrays an ordinary nuclear family struggling to keep up with the increasing demands of competitive society and the climb up the social ladder. What is ultimately important in life, is what Shin Dong-il appears to ask with the film. In the end, this is the question that the members of the family who have already given their everything also have to ask themselves.

Shin Dong-il was born on 29th October, 1968, in Seuol, South Korea. He studied first German language and literature but switched soon to study film directing. Shin Dong-il’s first full length feature, Host and Guest (2005), received a lot of attention at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Shin Dong-il dedicated Host and Guest to people who dream of a different world. The same thematic of a possible better world is present also in his other directorial works. Altogether Shin Dong-il has directed four full length feature films.

Shin Dong-il’s films have been said to deal with human relationships in a peculiar way. Often their main characters represent different social classes or diagonically opposite social groups. Through conflicts between the characters, Shin Dong-il deals even with religious themes of salvation and atonement.

Shin Dong-il is a self-confessed fan of Aki Kaurismäki’s black humour and pathos. In his film My friend & his wife (2006), the main character is shown watching Kaurismäki’s film Juha.

Come, Together is screened at Helsinki Cine Aasia on both Saturday 18th March and Sunday 19th March at 7pm at Korjaamo’s Kulmasali. Shin Dong-il will be present at both screenings to take questions from the audience.