Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japanese filmmaker seizes on the phenomenon of « baby boxes » in Korea to explore the painful reason for abandonment .

Hirokazu Kore-eda

The theme of filiation

Once again selected at the Cannes Film Festival, Hirokazu Kore-eda presents Broker, the second film of his career shot outside Japan. The story takes place in South Korea, where baby boxes – boxes intended to collect anonymously abandoned babies – have been growing since adoption laws have been tightened. The theme of filiation is the director’s favorite subject. As part of his research, Kore-eda, who has made family relationships the theme of his work, met children in orphanages. According to Kore-eda, these children wondered if, as unwanted babies, it would have been better for them not to be born, he said in early May in Seoul. « Baby boxes also exist in Japan, » the filmmaker said at a press conference in Seoul in early May.

A cast of south Korean stars

« I wanted to portray the journey of a group of people, some with good intentions and some with more evil, with various stories around a baby who was left in a baby box. » said the filmmaker. The film is a rare collaboration between Kore-eda and a cast of South Korean stars, including A-list actors Song Kang-ho (« Parasite »), Bae Doo-na, Gang Dong-won, and the megastar of the K-Pop Lee Ji-eun. Family observer Subtly dissecting family ties and their deficiencies is Hirokazu Kore-eda’s specialty. He draws his inspiration from his own story. During his childhood, his father was addicted to gambling and struggled to find a stable job. On paydays, he disappears with his salary for a while, leaving his family in fear of a permanent departure. His mother assumes all the responsibilities. Hirokazu Kore-eda has only one fear: that she will abandon them in turn. He brings this anguish to the screen in Nobody Knows, a sibling left to fend for itself. Beyond the failure of the parents, Hirokazu Kore-eda is interested in filiation: does belonging to the same family always mean being of the same blood? The filmmaker, also a dad, questions the relationship between biological and emotional ties through several films including Tel père, tel fils.

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