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Collective Invention ("Dolyeonbyuni")

Quebec Premiere
  • South Korea
  • 2015
  • 92 mins
  • DCP
  • Korean
  • English (subtitles)
Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Busan International Film Festival 2015, BAFICI - Buenos Aires Film Festival 2016

Collective Invention from Festival Fantasia on Vimeo. Young, naïve aspiring journalist Sang-won believes he’s found the story that will make his name. The Internet is percolating with word of a boy named Gu transforming into a fish. Passing himself off as a documentary filmmaker, Sang-won meets with Ju-jin, the passionate young actress who got the online rumour rolling. Together, they go to the pharmaceutical lab where the experiment on Gu took place, and help the boy escape. The circulation of the first images of the mutant fish/person triggers a global media frenzy. The public loves him and is outraged by the inhuman treatment to which he was subjected. A lawyer even offers to litigate for him pro bono. The seemingly sympathetic supporters gravitating to Gu, however, gradually prove themselves less than pure in intention. Moreover, a powerful but morally dubious pharma firm uses its ample influence on the media to twist opinions to its own advantage…

With this audacious debut feature, executive-produced by the great Lee Chang-dong (SECRET SUNSHINE), Kwon Oh-kwang displays an eye for the dynamic and an ear for devilishly well-crafted dialogue. The comedy of COLLECTIVE INVENTION ranges from absurdity to biting satire while issuing a pertinent social critique with a punch, taking its shots at corporate creeps, media stampedes and the volatility of a gullible public’s opinion — none of which detracts from the characters and interactions at its core. With its righteously ridiculous premise recalling Minoru Kawasaki (CALAMARI WRESTLER) and a soundtrack reminiscent of Jeunet’s AMÉLIE, COLLECTIVE INVENTION is a smart, funny fantasy you can dive right into.

— Nicolas Archambault