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BUSAN: Jury Member Bong Joon-ho Supports Ferry Docu, Criticizes Busan Mayor

BUSAN — Appearing at Friday’s press conference for the New Currents jury, director and jury member Bong Joon-ho expressed his support of the controversial Lee Sang-ho and Ahn Hae-ryong docu on the Sewol ferry disaster film “The Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol,” scheduled to screen at the festival.

He also criticized Busan mayor and fest chairman Seo Byung-soo, who has publicly called for the screening to be canceled. “This is his first time (as chairman) and he has no understanding of how the festival operates,” said Bong. “He has a made a mistake in opposing the screening. But I am sure that once the screening is held, the mayor will change his mind.”

Bong said he did not attend last night’s opening ceremony since he was in the hospital with a high fever. “I’m not in very good condition,”he said, but added that “I’m very happy to meeting with other jury members today.”

The rest of the jury at the presser, including director Asghar Farhadi, professor Dina Iordanova, actress and filmmaker Suhasini Maniratnam and philosopher Jacques Ranciere, did not comment on the controversy. Moderator and festival director Lee Yong-kwan also refrained. At Thursday’s presser for the opening film “Paradise in Service,” he refused to answer a question about the docu screening.

Jury head, Farhadi did comment on the pitfalls of forming an opinion on a society — and by implication its social issues, strictly from films. “You can learn a lot about other cultures and societies from films. On the other side, it’s dangerous since they are only showing a certain point of view. You should learn more about that society (in other ways). You have to be careful about that.”

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