Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
From zombie mutants to psychological terrors, click here to check out SWITCH's reviews from this year's Fantastic Film Festival!x
review, Granny Poetry Club, Granny, Poetry, Club, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Kim Jae-Hwan, Documentary

GRANNY POETRY CLUB

★★★

GROWING OLD, FRIENDSHIP, LEARNING AND POETRY

KOREAN FILM FESTIVAL IN AUSTRALIA REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Lily Meek
13th September 2019

Imagine growing up and being denied the right to learn or speak your own language. Imagine being 87 years old and sitting down with your grandchild, only to be learning the exact same words as them? In 1937, the Japanese ruled over Korea with a puppet government. During this time, they instated a law banning the practice of Korean culture and Korean language. The documentary 'Granny Poetry Club', directed by Jae-Hwan Kim, details the lives of a group of elderly Korean women as they navigate the limitations of their robbed knowledge, whilst also proving to themselves and the people around them that it’s never too late to learn something new.

This movie has a layered and charming premise. On a surface level, it presents what seems to be a very simple narrative and structure. It is anything but. As the story unfurls, it becomes glaringly obvious that this movie is dynamic and layered in its presentation of its multiple themes. Firstly, a documentary about an elderly group of female friends is kick-arse in itself. When you combine this with a discussion of art, family, friendship, culture, wisdom, life, fear and optimism, it really does create a hybrid tale of inspiration and encouragement.

'GRANNY POETRY CLUB' TRAILER

The film relies on the charisma of its subjects. This wonderful group of grannies are cheeky and influential. They offer true displays of the challenges and burdens we face as we grow old, but are strong and brave in the face of them. Their greatest quality is their reflection, attitude and heart that we all aspire to have in our old age. The kick to these friendly ladies is they exemplify the journey of determination and learning we think can only occur when we are young.

Whilst these women are entertaining to watch and make for a great story, the film tends to overdo the original core message by relying on the sentimentality the audience might feel for the elderly and their everyday lives. As such, the tension and drive of the film is somewhat lost as it becomes a documentation of what these ladies do, rather than about why they do it. The political circumstances of the past get lost, and the language classes become second nature in the routine of their lives as we witness events such as singing contests, shopping, washing laundry or eating out. Honing in on that initial exposure of what happened in 1939 and using that as a bedrock to keep coming back to and to teach us would have motivated the story more. Likewise, it would have added another emotional layer as to why these women were deprived of the right to learn their own language in their own country. This was somewhat explored in a moment where the ladies detailed the challenge of teaching their grandchildren, but it was only touched upon lightly.

The best part of this film is, it’s unexpected. This documentary tracks a group of unlikely people in a very peculiar and undocumented situation.

As briefly as the poetry was incorporated, the subtitles are left in their original condition of broken "Korean" (English for viewers). It's a really nice touch to see the improvement of the words we ourselves are reading, as the ladies progress in their learning. It's a very innocent and honest aid to the objective of the documentary.

The best part of this film is, it’s unexpected. This documentary tracks a group of unlikely people in a very peculiar and undocumented situation. It brings to surface conflict and displacement brought on by the 1930s and unearths a very unique struggle, a never-before-seen spectacle. It’s completely different, its characters are idiosyncratic, and I don’t think this film could be compared to anything else. For someone who has a fear of growing old, it's rewarding to be reminded that age is but a number, and we are only as limited as we think we are.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 40m
DIRECTOR: Kim Jae-Hwan
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Korean Film Festival in Australia reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
Honeyland - Two-time Oscar-nominated film flies into Aussie cinemas
TRENDINGWIN HONEYLANDTwo-time Oscar-nominated film flies into Aussie cinemas
In My Blood It Runs - An eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
TRENDINGIN MY BLOOD IT RUNSAn eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
Guns Akimbo - Just like Harry Potter but with guns and more violence... not really
TRENDINGGUNS AKIMBOJust like Harry Potter but with guns and more violence... not really
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
A Guide to Second Date Sex - A quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
TRENDINGA GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEXA quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
The Invisible Man - Paranoia, gaslighting and spookiness
TRENDINGTHE INVISIBLE MANParanoia, gaslighting and spookiness
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
The Professor and the Madman - Mel Gibson's dictionary origin story a dry read
TRENDINGTHE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMANMel Gibson's dictionary origin story a dry read
Honey Boy - Shia LaBeouf turns his darkest times into an artistic masterpiece
TRENDINGHONEY BOYShia LaBeouf turns his darkest times into an artistic masterpiece
Fantastic Film Festival Australia 2020 - The reviews
TRENDINGFANTASTIC FILM FESTIVAL AUSTRALIA 2020The reviews
Standing Up For Sunny - A comedy without the comedy but very sweet
TRENDINGSTANDING UP FOR SUNNYA comedy without the comedy but very sweet
Backtrack Boys - Heart-rending and inspiring
TRENDINGBACKTRACK BOYSHeart-rending and inspiring
Blue - A thought-provoking underwater journey
TRENDINGBLUEA thought-provoking underwater journey
Lion - A raw and powerful journey of identity
TRENDINGLIONA raw and powerful journey of identity
Zombi Child - A subtle riff on the zombie genre
TRENDINGZOMBI CHILDA subtle riff on the zombie genre
Midsommar - Ari Aster brings the gore but lacks the emotion
TRENDINGMIDSOMMARAri Aster brings the gore but lacks the emotion
Richard Jewell - Man versus media
TRENDINGRICHARD JEWELLMan versus media
The Australian Dream - The conversation Australia needs to have
TRENDINGTHE AUSTRALIAN DREAMThe conversation Australia needs to have
School of Seduction - Husband hunting in Russia
TRENDINGSCHOOL OF SEDUCTIONHusband hunting in Russia
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us