Moving On

#Review: Moving On (East Asia Film Festival Ireland)

The East Asia Film Festival Ireland is currently happening at the IFI, virtually of course. This year sees a slew of fascinating new content. The next film I will be taking a look at from its schedule is Moving On. This is a moving and emotional film about three generations of families under one roof.

Moving On opens with young Okju leaving her home with her little brother Dongju and their father Byunggi. They are heading to their grandfather’s home to move in. Byunggi is taking advantage of his father’s ailing health so that his small family can move in under the guise of benevolence. A short time after this Byunggi’s sister Mijun moves in as well. We learn shortly after her arrival that she is running from her life as well.

At the centre of the family is Okju who is upset with her life and the position her father has put her in. There is a sense of wistfulness surrounding her. She’s not happy with her life and her relationship with her father and brother is complicated but also all too realistic. Choi Jeong Won is heartbreaking as Okju and grounds the film in a relatable and grounded fashion. Her brother Dongju, played by young actor Park Seung Jun, is the life of the party. He’s hyperactive, the apple of his father’s and doted on by the family. There is definitely a sense of resentment between Okju and Dongju.

An bittersweet tale of family

Meanwhile, the adults are having similar issues with each other. Byunggi and his little sister Mijun have underlying problems. Byunggi has always gotten away with so much but Mijun has always worked so much harder and with the opportunity to possibly sell their father’s home and move him into the home they see an opportunity to be happier. When this is put to Okju and Dongju neither are interested. It’s almost as if the elders are looking to be absolved from the moral issues by the children.

It’s a tragic story told with a delicate hand. The characters are well fleshed out and you feel for them across their respective journeys, in particular Okju. It’s fascinating watching Youngmuk’s children run back to their childhood home to escape their adult problems. It adds to the mirroring element of Okju’s relationship with Dongju as this could be their potential future.

If there are any other elements of Moving On that stand out is the film’s cinematography. There is a warmth to all the scenes within grandpa Youngmuk’s household. You can tell there were happy times there and that’s why Byunggi is moving back, to try and recapture those memories with his children. Sadly it is in a much more diminished fashion.

If you enjoyed this review and want to check out the full schedule of the East Asia Film Festival Ireland head over to the official website to pick up your tickets.

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