Planet of Snail

Yi Seung-jun

So much is crammed into the 83 minutes of Planet of Snail. The hero is Cho Young-Chan, a deaf-blind South Korean man on the cusp of an astonishing sensory rebirth as he begins to escape from the isolation and loneliness of his condition. Key to his development is his wife, the loving Soon-Ho, who, with patience and devotion, steers him towards the mental freedom for which he yearns.

Director Yi Seung-jun adopts an unobtrusive approach as he documents the day-to-day existence of these remarkable people and their differing perspectives on breaking the bonds of reliance. Dedicated, caring and omnipresent, it is the wife who silently struggles with her husband’s desire to explore a potentially dangerous world – to break out from the painfully slow and meticulous planet of snail he has become accustomed to.

Scattered with Cho’s writings (“Though no star has glittered in my eyes, I know the sun is still blazing”), this consideration of the art of communication is a truly magnificent achievement, and a humbling experience. You will stamp your feet and cheer.

Tony Earnshaw