Humans are animals that give meaning by filling a void. The history of “reclaiming” the world, drawing maps, and naming places correspond to the history of destroying the environment under the name of civilization. On earth that no longer has “empty spaces” or wilderness to fill in when seen from the human perspective, now, they instead focus on demolishing and disassembling the existing places and transforming them into the ones with the potential for the centralization of capital. This year, the Korean Competition, which shows the Korean film industry trends, features several films on reconstruction,
urban renewal, and old town regeneration to shed light on how dehumanizing and anti-environmental changes made to the values of a place are. In a moment of time, bulldozers will destroy everything including your town in which your stories have become history over time, an ecological park miraculously formed in the city center, and a construction site for a new airport with layers of memories (as in the films City of Outlanders, Land and Housing, Sasang: The Town on Sand, and The Bird We Saw Once).
Apart from these, this section showcases a group of films that show the “poetics of space” with different themes. Nemesis fast forwards how a train station turns into a prison, adding anthropological values to such a transformation. Other films such as Sacred Ground which emphasizes the importance of the environment during a conflict between the sacred and the secular, Once Upon a Village, a look into an abandoned “ghost village,” and In Praise of Love which sings a serenade in the ruins of past glory also analyze different spaces and find their meaning from various perspectives. With Americaville which poses a question about whether cultural or architectural imitation can change life and Taming the Garden that follows the journey of an old tree across the ocean, this section also aims to reflect on filling in empty spaces or settling down in a place.