‘Broker’ director Hirokazu Kore-eda talks societal “prejudice” against mothers who give up their children

Broker director Hirokazu Kore-eda has spoken about his desire address the “prejudice” faced by mothers who give up their childen through his new film.

Broker follows Sang-hyun (Parasite’s Song Kang-ho) who sets up a baby box where parents are able to anonymously leave their babies for him find new parents for. Self-described as a “broker” of goodwill, Sang-hyun works with Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won) in this line of work, during which they cross paths with So-young, played by IU (real name Lee Ji-eun), who leaves her own baby in the baby box.

Meanwhile, The Silent Sea’s Bae Doo-na and Lee Joo-young (Itaewon Class) portray the lead detectives in the cast against the broker, who are determined to uncover the operation.

According to Korea Herald, Kore-eda recently spoke about his hopes to reduce the prejudice surrounding women who give up their children. He shared that the change in attitudes he wants to bring around is shown through Bae’s character.

He notes that, at the beginning of the film, Bae’s character says the line: “If you are going to abandon a newborn, you should not have given a birth to him.” But later addsthat Broker is meant to “show how much [Bae’s character’s] prejudice changed”.

“This shows that there is a kind of prejudice toward mothers. The film starts from there,” explained the director. “I also strongly believed that my film should look at every human’s life positively.”

He later spoke about how he had structured Broker around the concept of three different “boxes”. “The first box is the smallest one that the baby is being abandoned in, and then the second box is the van that brokers in the film travel in with the baby,” Kore-eda said. “The last box is symbolic and invisible – the society that surrounds the baby.”

During a press conference at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, where Broker had premiered, leading actress IU discussed the difficulties she experienced playing the role of a mother for the first time. “It was challenging to portray So-young because she was a mother with such a dark and depressing past,” she admitted, per Korea JoongAng Daily.

“To be very honest, I was overwhelmed by the fact that I had to play a mother, which I had no personal experience of, and a single mother at that.”

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