브로커Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda
Cast: Bae Doona, Gang Dong-won, Lee Ji-eun, Lee Joo-young, Song Kang-ho
Best Actor, 2022 Cannes Film Festival
The morning after a young mother (Lee Ji-eun, better known as K-pop star IU) leaves her infant child in front of a church’s baby donation box, she returns to retrieve him—only to find him missing. After inquiring through the church, the mother, named Soyeon, meets two baby brokers (Dong-won Gang and Song Kang-ho of Parasite) who have taken her son and plan to sell him through the black market. Their intentions are not as nefarious as one may expect, and may even be admirable: their brokerage places abandoned children in families capable of care, rescuing them from the cruel uncertainty of life in the orphanage. Learning this, Soyeon decides to follow the two men to ensure that her child will be in good hands. What unfolds is part-crime thriller and part-road movie, held together by filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda’s unique sensitivity.
Characters in Kore-eda’s films (Shoplifters, SDAFF ‘18) are often forced by their economic marginality to operate outside of legally and socially accepted modes of survival, and it’s always through their persistence that they are brought together in the most beautiful of ways. Kore-eda’s first Korean feature, BROKER continues the director’s interest in non-nuclear family structures and the improvised ways in which human connections take form. His films not only invite us to interrogate accepted social norms, but also remind us that people are so much more than the decisions that they make.