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Riceboy Sleeps

Directed by Anthony Shim
117 minutes
A strong-willed Korean single mother and her young son start a new life in 1990s Canada. Anthony Shim’s semi-autobiographical drama has won more than 20 international awards.
Seoul-born Canadian filmmaker Anthony Shim’s second feature is an achingly intimate portrait of a mother’s love for her son. With delicacy and tenderness that never tips into sentimentality, Shim charts the difficulties faced by So-young and Dong-hyun as they attempt to fit into Canadian suburbia in a time when virtually no support was available. Years later we meet Dong-hyung (now known as David) as a wayward teenager who’s grown distant from his mother until a critical event takes them on an unpredictable journey into their Korean past. This shot-on-16mm treasure, drawing laudatory comparisons with Minari (SFF 2021), is superbly performed by dancer-turned-actor Choi Seung-yoon in her first feature role and 2022 TIFF Rising Star award winner Ethan Hwang.
Punching well above its weight, the film is a triumph of independent filmmaking, and Shim should now be on every serious cinephile’s radar.
Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film
A tender, ambitious, meticulous and deeply emphathetic work.
Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail (Canada)


Sat 24 Jun
Newcastle - Event Cinemas Kotara
In English and Korean with English subtitles
Anthony Shim
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