This weekend I attended the 2013 Korean Film Festival hosted by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Toronto and the Korean Foundation.
The event, which took place at TIFF Bell Lightbox, lasted 2 days and featured a total of 4 films:
A Barefoot Dream 맨발의 꿈2010
Pacemaker 페이스메이커 2011
A Reason to Live 오늘 2011
Architecture 101 건축학개론 2012
It was a nostalgic affair for a once-upon-a-time expat like me, who often looks back at the life she had in Korea with that same kind of warm, yet sad yearning you have when you wake up from a too-good-to-be-true dream.
Before snuggling into my seat, I took one last glance at the audience members sitting behind me. The sight of so many spirited Korean faces and the sound of my Korean friends cracking Korean-style jokes, took me back to that familiar place I once called home. Film after film, my heart swelled at the images of hilly roads lined with villas, the musicality of the language, the camera close-ups of food. After the last film ended, we braved our way through a snowy Entertainment District and headed towards K-town to warm our cold bodies with soju and buldak – spicy “fire” chicken.
I realized that even though I miss the fairy-tale feel of my expat life in Korea, I have to admit that Toronto does have its own magic. Where else could I replicate so closely a lifestyle I had thousands of miles away? It’s the possibility of having cultural events like these which make expat-sickness so much more bearable.