“Planet of snail” (2011 / South-Korea)

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South Korea – Japan / 2011 / HD – 16:9

87′ (feature edition) – 52′ (TV version)

Language: Korean with english subtitles

Director: Seung-Jun Yi

Producer: Min-Chul Kim, Gary Kam (CreativeEAST)

Co-producer: Janne Niskala (Vaski Filmi / Finland)

Worldwide distribution: Cat&Docs


I come from planet of snail where people communicate by touching each other. We call ourselves “snails” because we cannot hear or see and our lives are as slow as the snails. Now I live on earth where time runs so fast which makes me hard to follow the life of the earthmen. When I first came to the earth, I was desperate because there was nothing I could do. However, an angel came into my life and I discovered a beautiful world that I can read under my fingers. Everything around me started changing. Hopes started replacing despairs and I started challenging for my long delayed dream. Now my heart is full of hope and I know there will be so much more I can do in this world: The reason for my life. (from the official website)


My name is Young-Chan and I am deaf and blind. Luckily, I was not born like this. I was able to learn to speak and remember what I have seen before I lost vision and hearing. Unlike many of my handicapped friends, I refuse to be satisfied with what is given to my life. I believe I must have a lot of potentials not discovered yet. My dream is to write a book that no one has ever written before: A snail’s encyclopedia-the world though the eyes of a blind and deaf man

Soon-Ho is my wife. I haven’t actually seen her with my own eyes but I know she is the most beautiful woman in the world. She has become my lifeline ever since she came into my life. She is my arms and legs that take me to school, to the gym, to the sea and everywhere I want to go. She is the eye and the ear of me that sees, hears and translates for me. I cannot live a day without her and feel sorry for that I cannot do much for her while herself has spine disability and often gets sick. (from the official website)


Ten countries helped make this film. It received grants from the Sundance Documentary Fund, Cinereach Grant from the U.S., the Finnish Film Foundation, and Korea’s Broadcasting Content Promotion Foundation and EIDF Documentary Fund. Japan’s NHK and Finland’s Vaski Filmi participated in its production. It was edited by Lebanese editor Simon El Habre, while Sami Kiiski from Finland produced the sound, a stand-out feature throughout the film.

Official website  Video trailer on Vimeo

Film presentation on Cat & Docs website




. Screen Daily (29/11/11)


. IDFA / VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary

The VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary (consisting of a sculpture and € 12,500) went to Seung-Jun Yi for “Planet of Snail” (South Korea), which depicts the everyday life of deaf & blind Young-Chan and the love of his life, Soon-Ho. Planet of Snail was pitched at the FORUM 2010.

Film presentation on IDFA website

Comments from the jury: “Sight and sound are the senses we rely on as cinemagoers, but in telling the story of a man who has been deaf and blind from childhood, Planet of Snail is an intimate and deeply moving portrait of love and compassion that reaffirms the power of the senses. Deeply connected to his subjects, director Seung-Jun Yi shows them in everyday moments so closely observed they become almost magical. He keeps himself as a respectful distance from his protagonists but also regards them with great tenderness.”


. Seung-Jun Yi On His IDFA Award Winning “Planet of Snail”
Indiewire.com 28/11/11

. ‘Planet of Snail’ Wins Amsterdam’s International Documentary Film Festival
THR (27/11/11)

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