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[What to Watch] Three movies that will warm your heart with seniors’ wisdom

June 1, 2024 - 16:00 By Kim Da-sol

The 16th Seoul International Senior Film Festival kicked off Thursday, showcasing 75 movies from home and abroad.

The festival, dedicated to works with fresh insights from seniors that raise questions not just about elderly life but also death, relationships and generations, has established itself as an international film festival.

The festival has evolved into a forum for exchanging ideas and concerns about seniors as the issue of the aging population has become one of the world's top topics. It is also a platform that contributes to broadening understanding and empathy between generations.

Below are three movies that are screened at CGV Piccadilly 1958 in Jongno-gu, Seoul during the 16th SIFF, which runs through June 3 under the theme of “A Senior Who Doesn’t Age.”

“Big Kids” (SIFF)

“Big Kids”

Directed by French filmmakers Andrea Bescond and Eric Metayer, this 2023 film revolves around a group of school children who spend their lunch breaks at a nearby nursing home as their school cafeteria goes through a remodeling. While the caretaker at the nursing home isn’t happy with the children invading their territory, this somewhat comical situation leads to an unexpected friendship between the elderly and the children.

While the plot was inspired by events in the director’s real life, the movie delves into one of the most pressing issues of the day -- care service.

The movie cleverly depicts the intimacy and relationship between two socially vulnerable groups – the elderly and children – and promotes the message that when these two groups are together, they can heal their wounds.

The movie opened the 16th Seoul International Senior Film Festival.

“Picnic” (SIFF)


Helmed by director Kim Yong-kyun, the movie “Picnic” stars South Korea’s renowned veteran actors Na Moon-hee, Kim Young-ok and Park Geun-hyung. They lead the movie by narrating the story of two best friends who return to their hometown of Namhae, South Gyeongsang Province. After 60 years, together they relive memories of when they were 16.

The movie has garnered attention from a wide range of moviegoers for not just the heartwarming story, but also its weighty themes including preparing for the end of life, death with dignity, family conflicts around finances and life in a nursing home.

“Picnic” was released in theaters in February and became the first Korean indie film in five years to surpass its breakeven point at 270,000 admissions.

“Blaga’s Lessons” (SIFF)

“Blaga’s Lessons”

This 2023 drama film directed by Stephan Komandarev tells the story of a retired school teacher who is grieving the recent death of her husband.

She falls victim to a criminal scam while trying to raise money to pay for her dead husband’s gravestone. The phone scam leaves her penniless and just as hope dwindles and her dreams fade away, an enigmatic job opportunity arises. Once a strict and honest woman, she slowly begins to trample on all her principles.

The movie is the final installment in director Komandarev's trilogy on Bulgarian social issues, after “Directions” (2017) and “Rounds” (2019). “Blaga’s Lessons” was selected as the Bulgarian entry for this year's Academy Awards in March.

More information on the 16th Seoul International Senior Film Festival and screening schedule can be found on the festival's official website.