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Playing on the Board of Life

Playing on the Board of Life

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What is the game of Go? Harmony? Self-control? Innermost illumination? Perfection?
And what happens if the players are a middle-aged gangster and a young prodigy of the discipline? The pieces seem to move autonomously, though at the same time attracted by the nucleus of a mysterious constellation. Black and white reel around an indecipherable board, moved with the finger or held between index and middle and put down abruptly, and yet they always, inexorably, indicate the winner.

Se-rae Cho, in his debut film, seems to be wondering if this is also the art of the film, a roll of the dice or military strategy, intuition or meticulous study, a way of discovering something about ourselves while playing the ultimate game, the most important one, from which we will return changed forever. An adrenaline-charged rhythm alternates with long periods of suspension, a changing temperature, while the youth and the gangster dance the dance of life and death, they themselves pieces in a larger, unfathomable game.

Lorenzo Esposito

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