Directed by Kim Jong-hyun
You can always count on sports films, especially ones based on true stories, to capture the tensions and exaltations of national pride. South Korea is looking to form its first women’s ice hockey team to compete in the 2003 Asian Winter Games. Unfortunately, the organization in charge of creating the team is having trouble finding players or even a legitimate coach to manage the team. The ragtag group they assemble includes a disgraced national speedskater, a middle schooler, and a former figure skater looking to bolster her online dating profile. Their only true star is a professional North Korean ice hockey player who recently defected, and is now the recipient of contempt from everyone she meets. The group attempts to put aside their differences in order to bring pride, and a medal, to themselves and their country.
A good sports film captures the palpable tension of competition. What makes RUN-OFF a great sports film is that it puts powerful women at the center of the competition and nation, utilizing their individual strengths and sheer willpower to come together as an unlikely team. Don’t let your guard down though, because amidst all the fast-paced, ice hockey action is a gut-wrenching revelation ready to body check you into the boards. RUN-OFF shows the importance of sisterhood and the pride in maintaining and deepening the bonds of family. –James Paguyo
Writer: Yoo Yeong-ah
Starring: Soo-Ae, Oh Dal-su, Oh Yeon-seo