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‘Broker’ receives 12-minute ovation at Cannes

Posted May. 28, 2022 07:35,   

Updated May. 28, 2022 07:35


On May 26 (local time), at the Grand Theatre Lumière in Cannes, France, French actor Louis Jourdan Louis was confused about the “nationality” of the film “Broker.” Hirokazu Kore-eda, a world-renowned filmmaker who won the Palme d’Or with “Shoplifters” in 2018, brought his Korean debut “Broker” to Competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Among the audience were people who thought this film was Japanese. It shows that, amid the rising popularity of Korean cultural content, Korean films are increasingly coming out of their traditional style, with diversified ways of producing, including collaborations with foreign directors.

As Kore-eda is well-known for his fascination with the stories of various family types, his latest movie has drawn the world’s keen attention with curiosity on what will his pictures be like when combined with the touch on the Korean culture.

The Korean film unveiled at the 2,300-seat grand theater was different from his past ones. Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho) and Dong-su (Kang Dong-won) are brokers who secretly collect infants left in baby boxes and sell them to couples who cannot formally adopt babies. They take away a baby abandoned by So-yeong (Lee Ji-eun) but fall in panic when So-yeong shows up. The pair teams up with her on their road trip odyssey after promising her to find her son good adoptive parents and share the sum of cash paid for brokerage. After an eight-year-old boy in the orphanage that Dong-su used to live in hitches a ride, four of them pose as a family to avoid being traced and gradually get closer like a real family.

When the screening has concluded with the lights back on, the movie received a standing ovation for 12 minutes, which is the longest-ever for a Korean film released at Cannes. “It was tough to film because of COVID-19, but now I would like to thank everyone,” said Kore-eda.

Hyo-Ju Son hjson@donga.com