In the years following his historic Palme d’Or win at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda has been busy broadening his horizons. He broke in to the English and French languages for the first time in 2019 with The Truth, and now we’ve gotten wind that he’ll try his hand in another nation’s native tongue for his next project.
The Film Stage notes that Koreeda’s next feature will be a Korean production, with the working title of Baby, Box, Broker. Principal photography has been put on the books for early 2021 for a possible debut later in the year for the fall festival circuit, with the director returning to his social-realist wheelhouse after dabbling in household family melodrama with his last feature.
Shot entirely in the Korean language, the film stars a handful of the country’s most high-profile actors currently working, including Parasite’s Song Kang-ho and Wachowski regular Bae Doona (Koreeda’s past collaborator on 2009’s Air Doll, in which she portrayed a sex doll come to life). The cast also features Kang Dong-won, a recent breakout for his performance in the Train to Busan sequel Peninsula.
The film’s central conceit revolves around so-called “baby boxes,” public vessels in which parents can anonymously leave their infant newborn if they fear they cannot provide for the child. Instantly, the emotional strain stemming from economic hardship recalls the likes of Shoplifters and After the Storm, and the auteur’s signature thematic concerns.
The filmmaker has also released a quote expressing his excitement at getting out into the world: “This film, like my latest film, will be one where I am apart from my home country and native language. What will I be able to express and share as we overcome barriers of language and culture? What does it mean to be a director? I hope to explore those questions through this project.”
If anyone can be counted on to come up with an interesting answer to these eternal quandaries, it’s him.
Published 30 Nov 2020
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