Korean drama Paper Flower explores hope amidst despair at SIFF’s Green Carpet finale.
As curtains came down on the ninth Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF), the screening of the Korean drama Paper Flower, a tale about dignity in death and hope in life, took place at the Al Jawahar Reception and Convention Centre.
Paper Flower, directed by Hoon Koh, and starring Ahn Sung-Ki and Eugene, portrays an undertaker’s dilemma about sending off the dead with dignity – which includes the Korean tradition of placing paper flowers in the coffin. The film explores how he is forced to adapt and give up on the practice when he joins a corporate funeral company.
Paper Flower, despite the underlying gloom inherent in its plot, is about finding hope in the midst of despair.
In a discussion with the SIFF audience following the film’s Green Carpet screening, director Koh said the film depicts the changes brought about by modernisation in Korean society, including in its values and funeral practices.
He described how he was inspired to make the movie after reading in the newspaper about a funeral director at a time when he was going through personal hardships and spent his time reading and watching movies.
Like the protagonist’s observation that the coffin of the rich, as well as the poor, will rot away, Koh gave a perspective on the depiction of rain in the film. “Whether you are rich or poor, you experience the same rain,” he said, elaborating on why the movie concludes with the rain pouring down in different parts of the city – where its three main characters feel and experience the same rain.