“Achingly Empathetic...miraculous in its sensitivity” (IndieWire)
|In this follow-up to 2018’s Palme d’Or-winning Shoplifters, master Japanese director Kore’eda Hirokazu returns to his cherished theme of the way that people desperately need to form themselves into families. He has travelled to Korea to make this film with Bong Joon-ho’s favourite actors, the great Bae Doo-na and Song Kang-ho, in a story of baby trafficking. A young woman abandons her child—a practice so common that Korean churches have Baby-box slots—and then thinking better of it, gets caught up with a couple of baby brokers. They form a precarious group, under police surveillance and on the run from gangs. It might be an easy subject to moralise about, but in Kore’eda’s hands, we see that everyone has their own motives, and that people are bound together by emotions which are no less strong for being expressed in such a gentle and humorous way.
“By Kore-eda’s gentle standards, Broker is a more suspenseful, plot-driven affair than usual, but the enormity of his compassion and melancholy air remain undiminished” (Screen Daily)
“It’s one of the master’s most transparent and—when it comes to confrontations about what parents, and specifically women, can or should do for themselves and for the babies they are forever bound to—brave films of his career.” (IndieWire)
“One of the year’s most delightful films…keeps on getting funnier and knottier as secret motives are revealed, sympathies shift, mysteries deepen and dangers multiply” (BBC)