Loosely grouped around the theme of “war” and its aftermath, these three DV shorts by East Asian helmers in their 30s and 40s are conveniently arranged in ascending order of merit. Compilation co-won the top prize in Locarno’s video competition but outside of fests has no market except highly specialized TV.
Semi-docu “A Letter From Hiroshima” is another nicely composed but intellectually empty exercise from Nobuhiro Suwa (“M/Other,” “2/Duo”), in which helmer leaves a Korean actress friend (Kim Ho-jeong, from “Butterfly”) stranded in her hotel to soak up his hometown’s history. Far better — though over-discursive and wearyingly shot –is the fictional “Survival Game,” by Moon Seung-wook (“Butterfly”), where an arrogant fund manager gets his comeuppance on a paint-gun military course. Outdoing both, however, with its moving simplicity and lack of pretension is Wang Xiaoshuai’s no-frills docu centered on the death, in a Shanghai hospital over Chinese New Year 2002, of the father of an emigre delayed in the U.S. by post-9/11 green-card complications. Finally arriving when her dad is critically ill, she’s buoyed by her incurably optimistic uncle as she negotiates China’s health service and the shock of homecoming.