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.
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