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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'Broker': A Warmly Humanistic Cross-Country Odyssey Through South Korea


Movie poster for Broker (2022)

Broker (브로커) (2022) is a warmly humanistic South Korean drama starring Song Kang-ho as Ha Sang-hyeon, a laundry service proprietor in Busan who volunteers at a local church alongside his friend Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won). Together, the two run an illegal operation, stealing babies left at the church for adoption before selling them on the black market.


Sang-hyeon and Dong-soo connect abandoned newborns with wealthy couples yearning to fill their hearts, navigating a murky underworld with practiced ease. However a crisis occurs when young Moon So-young (Lee Ji-eun) returns to reclaim her abandoned baby, forcing the two lawbreakers to embroil her in their scam. The trio sets off on a highly eventful road trip alongside a young orphan named Hae-jin (Im Seung-soo), in search of adoptive parents that Moon approves of for her child.


Written and directed by Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters, Nobody Knows), Broker overcomes its melodramatic premise to become something special—a warm-hearted character study and a moving depiction of makeshift familial relations. Sparked by lively characterizations and a touch of whimsy, Hirokazu's film paints a poignant tapestry of societal neglect, broken families and the unwavering human desire for connection.

 

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