Drawing many curiosity and excitement recently is the latest work of Japanese director Kore-Eda Hirokazu, Broker. The film not only marked the return of talented director but also once again brought Korean cinema to compete at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Broker trailer

So, what does this movie have to grant so much attention? Let’s dig in and find out through this article!

Based on a True Story

Broker tells the journey to find a new family for Woo-sung – the abandoned child in the “baby box”, which is really existed in Korea since 2009 when so many newborns are thrown away in public places, even landfills.

It all started when Lee Jong Rak, a pastor at Jusarang Community Church of south Seoul, discovered an infant left in fish styrofoam in front of the church gate at dawn. The child died soon after being in the cold for too long. It was that heartbreaking experience that inspired him to create the first baby box, which was placed in front of the church gate where he was in charge with the desire to protect abandoned newborns from the cold, and insects. 

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A “Baby box” in real life

The baby box is a drawer with sturdy materials, with a space large enough to have a heater for a newborn. The outside of the box is fitted with a bell to let mothers ring before they leave their babies. The boxes are often located at hospitals, churches, orphanages, or social welfare centers, and have saved the lives of more than 1,500 infants.

This story inspired Kore-Eda Hirokazu to make Broker. He borrows images of baby boxes to retell a full of novelty and not less meaningful journey.

Won 2 Awards at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival

As 1 of 2 representative Korean films participating in the 75th Cannes Film Festival, Broker was honored to receive the Ecumenical Jury Award for best film. This is an award to honor works of artistic quality and touch the deep emotion of the audience. Furthermore, Song Kang Ho also received the Best Actor award for his role as Sang-hyun in the film and became the first Korean actor to receive this prestigious award.

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Song Kang Ho received the “Best Actor” award at Cannes

The film revolves around the journey finding a new family for the child in the “baby box” by his mother So-young (Lee Ji Eun) and two brokers Sang-hyun (Song Kang Ho) and Dong-soo (Gang Dong Won). All 3 characters with different personalities make a perfect team. Following them are policewoman Soo-jin (Bae Doona) and her subordinate Lee (Lee Joo Young) in the role of investigating 3 brokers on suspicion of child trafficking.

Although not officially released, the film has been purchased by 171 countries for airing. Brokers also received a wide reception with applause lasting for 12 minutes after the premiere at Cannes.

Reunite Talent Casts That Guarantee the Movie Quality

Song Kang Ho received "Best Actor" award at Cannes
Broker casts at Cannes (without Bae Doona)

The film gathers the leading Korean actors such as Song Kang Ho, Gang Dong Won, Bae Doona, Lee Ji Eun (IU),… Especially Song Kang Ho – a veteran actor who always guarantees the quality of the films he joins. After Parasite, he received many compliments from critics for his impressive performance. This return once again confirmed his talent with the Best Actor award at Cannes.

Kang Dong Won is another remarkable name in the cast when he is always known as the “box office man” of Korean cinema. His talent has been admitted through a series of high-grossing works he has participated in such as A Violent Prosecutor, Master, or The Priests.

The female character line is also outstanding when gathering all prominent names. The first is Bae Doona, who is one of the top actresses in Korea. Not only asserting her name domestically, but her talent also shines internationally with the hit Netflix series Sense8. Contrary to her senior who has remarkable movie achievements, for Lee Ji Eun (IU), Broker is the first time she has touched the cinematic field. This new step will certainly bring a new and more mature image of IU to the audience.

With a delicate but also poignant perspective on small destinies struggling with the whirlpool of life, Broken and its messages ​​will surely be an unforgettable cinematic experience for those who are in love with the 7th art.

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