Inkan, gongkan, sikan grigo inkan (Human, Space, Time and Human)
If Woody Allen and Roman Polanski are problematic in the age of #MeToo, then why not Kim Ki-duk? Admittedly, the South Korean auteur has more of a subdued profile than other filmmakers facing allegations, but his inclusion in the 2018 Berlinale has not been without criticism after the director was accused in 2017 of assaulting an actress and forcing her to perform a sex scene in his 2013 feature Moebius. Berlinale has opted to move ahead with the screenings, and yet the misogyny on display in Human, Space, Time and Human arguably places the movie into a different context.
A disparate gaggle of passengers are on an old navy battleship. The captain announces the commencement of their voyage, the destination never stated, although it’s assured that they will “return safely”. The passengers include gangsters, a politician, prostitutes, con artists (although perhaps these all fall under the same classification), as well as couples and families. All is well, all is vague, until a flash of violence occurs, and a maintenance man who may or may not have magical powers makes everyone fall asleep instantaneously. Upon waking up, the ship is now floating in the air. Though surprised and afraid, the passengers deal with this new development in a matter of fact, almost brusque fashion. But with no sign that they’ll be coming down anytime soon, the focus turns to the rather limited supply of food.
What an odd duck Human, Space, Time and Human is. In this magic realist environment where the characters’ new circumstances are rapidly accepted, factions quickly form, with insurgency constantly on the bubble. Unceremonious brutality is dished out, with women being degraded to horrific levels for the satisfaction of the men. This esoteric curiosity has a confidence – it knows where it’s going at each step even if the audience is bewildered. The descent into fascism is captured in enthralling detail, and while the allegorical elements of the piece make some kind of statement, it’s not easy or pleasant to work out just what that statement might be.
Inkan, gongkan, sikan grigo inkan (Human, Space, Time and Human) does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews and interviews from our Berlin Film Festival 2018 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Berlin Film Festival 2018.
Watch a clip from Inkan, gongkan, sikan grigo inkan (Human, Space, Time and Human) here: