Hirokazu Kore-eda directs this beautifully crafted and touching crowd-pleaser about an unconventional family formed under the strangest of circumstances.
It’s a rainy night, water pouring endlessly from the sky, and a young woman, So-young (Lee Ji-eun), climbs the stairs leading to a small church with an imposing red neon cross. It’s the Busan Family Church, home to one of the many “baby boxes” across the nation. She is going to leave her child Woo-sung there, abandoning him in complete anonymity.
But she is not alone. Shrouded in darkness, detective Ji-Sun (Bae Doona) and her colleague (Lee Joo-young) are monitoring the baby box, hoping to crack down on illegal child trafficking. At the receiving end of the box, two “brokers,” Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho) and Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won), are ready to put the baby up for sale to their network of wealthy wannabe parents.
On the following day, something unexpected happens — So-young returns to reclaim her child, complicating the entire equation. But when she learns how much the brokers are expected to collect, she decides the money is more tempting than taking her son back. Sang-hyun convinces her to facilitate the transaction with them — it’s always easier when the biological mother is involved. And so begins a road trip that will change all of their lives, with the two detectives discreetly in tow.
Despite its loaded cultural subject, Broker is a film filled with moments of wonder and lightness — often funny, and ultimately very touching. It’s a sensitive, powerful portrait of an unconventional family road-trip.
“Broker is one of the highlights of this year’s Cannes. It’s a crowd-pleaser that prods those crowds to think, to consider the many teeming lives of others, as they chuckle and sigh along.” –Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair
Tickets: $15 Admission (+applicable taxes and fees)
Rated R for language