VIFF 2022 Closing Film
Working for the first time in South Korea, long-term festival favourite Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters) has come up with a sprawling crime story about a baby adoption scam. But in characteristic Kore-eda style, the tone is predominantly compassionate and melancholic—even the cops warm to the perpetrators. It helps of course that the baby broker, Sang-hyeon, is played by Song Kang-ho, the charismatic star of Parasite, Memories of Murder, The Host, and so many others (Song was named Best Actor at Cannes for this performance). His scheme involves intercepting infants abandoned at a church baby box, but things get messy when a young mom (Lee Ji-eun) changes her mind and discovers his racket. She decides to go along with him to meet the the baby’s prospective buyers—actually cops in a sting operation.
Kore-eda fashions plenty of twists and turns as Sang-hyeon, his accomplice (Gang Dong-won), and the girl try to evade the law and find a safe home for the child, but as always, he’s more invested in character than plot mechanics, and the truths we learn about this thrown-together family are revealed in simple, telling gestures, looks, and shadings.
Miraculous in its sensitivity, asking questions about issues of ethics, of choice, of money, and murder, and family, and how to find love in all this sorry mess.”—Ella Kemp, Indiewire
Best Actor (Song Kang Ho), Cannes 2022
Note: the Closing Gala screening of Broker will take place Saturday, October 8, 6pm at the Centre for Performing Arts.
More Films in this Series
Bones of Crows
Vancouver-born Dene/Métis writer-director Marie Clements lays out a hard history of Indigenous resilience in this urgent, harrowing epic, spanning most of the 20th century; the story of a Cree woman from childhood, through residential school, WWII, and beyond.
The Grizzlie Truth
Kathleen S. Jayme (Finding Big Country) is out to solve a true sports crime: who robbed us of the Vancouver Grizzlies? Jayme revisits the short history of those bad luck bears, connecting the dots and reconnecting with the Grizzlies heroes and villains.
Sarah Polley's adaptation of Miriam Toews' novel is the most compelling movie to come out the #MeToo movement to date, with stellar performances from Jessie Buckley, Rooney Mara, and Frances McDormand as Mennonite women confronting a terrible truth.
Marie Kreutzer’s biopic takes us to the late 19th century, when Empress Elisabeth of Austria has been politically sidelined. Imagining her as a proto-feminist rebel, Kreutzer is not afraid to depart from the historical record to do so.
Decision to Leave
Virtuoso Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden; Oldboy) picked up the Best Director Prize at Cannes for this teasing, tantalizing genre piece, a neo-noir mystery about a homicide detective who falls in love with the widow of an apparent suicide.
Stars at Noon
In Claire Denis's Cannes Jury prize winner, a US journalist is marooned in Managua, stripped of her passport and forced to trade sex for protection. An English businessman seems a good prospect, but gradually she sees he's in more trouble than she is.
Veteran director Jerzy Skolimowski returns in triumphant form with this tale of animal life. Sometimes harsh, sometimes sweet, always beautiful, EO tells the story of a donkey and its journey through a world dominated by humans.
Shoplifters director Kore-eda fashions a sprawling, compassionate crime story set in South Korea about a half-baked baby adoption scam led by Song Kang-ho (Parasite; The Host). Winner of Best Actor at Cannes Film Festival.
Triangle of Sadness
A luxury cruise for the super rich goes very, very wrong in this Cannes-winning social satire from the director of The Square. Uproariously funny at times and deeply cynical, this is a must-see.
Miky Lee, Kang Ho Sung
Hong Kyung Pyo
Mok Won Lee
Jung Jae Il