This gripping and thought provoking film from Um Tae Hwa, CONCRETE UTOPIA, begins with a massive earthquake that reduces Seoul, Korea to rubble. Everything in the city has collapsed, except for one building. Hwang Gung Apartments remains standing, as it was before that day. When survivors from the outside hear of this, they begin to gather at Hwang Gung Apartments. However, the original residents of the building start to feel threatened. Banding together for the sake of their survival, they elect ‘Young-tak’ as their Resident Delegate. Under his leadership, they strictly ban entry by outsiders and draw up a new set of Resident Regulations. Thanks to this, in contrast to the hellish nightmare outside, Hwang Gung Apartments stands as a safe and peaceful utopia for its residents. But amidst the continual threats to their survival, unexpected conflicts begin to arise among them… Director Um Tae Hwa (Ingtoogi: The Battle of the Internet Trolls) joins us to talk about the orgin story for the film, how shaping the characters vastly different perspective is critical to the success of the film and the outstanding cast of actors who bring strong-willed resolve to this complex story.
South Korea Official Oscar Entry – Best International Feature
About the filmmaker – After his critically acclaimed movie Ingtoogi: The Battle of Internet Trolls, which is renowned for its unique and distinctive setting and energy, director UM Tae-hwa, who received the Best New Director award at the 54th Grand Bell Awards for Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned, returns after seven years with his new movie Concrete Utopia. In this enthralling disaster drama, UM Tae-hwa skillfully portrays a diverse range of characters while successfully presenting an original yet realistic story. Poised to tighten its grip on audiences this summer, Concrete Utopia will entrance audiences with its dynamic ensemble of characters, unpredictable turns of the plot, and visual pleasures.
“A fractious, blood-soaked drama about the will to survive that feels like Earthquake crossed with Lord of the Flies.” – Variety
“A rare find… An impressive epic.” – Next Best Picture
““Concrete Utopia” is a gripping, disturbing, and powerful representation of the worst of society, yet equally showcasing the best qualities in humans and how hope, community, and decency will always exist through the dust and devastation.” – Anna Miller, Next Best Picture
“A film that’s intense and powerful, but without ever losing its propulsive entertainment value. We consider our own morality as the characters shatter or solidify theirs, and in the end, you just want to spend more time in this world.” – Germain Lussier, io9.com
“Disturbingly and crushingly human.” – The Huffington Post
“An entertaining film that could follow in the wake of Parasite and Squid Game.” – Screen Daily