Broker | Picturehouse Recommends

It is testament to the writer-director’s compassionate writing and the elegance of his filmmaking.

Elena Lazic

04 Jan 23

Hirokazu Kore-Eda

Release Date
24 February

Song Kang-Ho, Lee Ji-Eun, Bae Doona, Gang Dong-Won


Running Time
129 mins

The films of Hirokazu Kore-eda are intimate perfectly formed slices of humanity. His best-known work, such as Like Father, Like Son and Shoplifters (both Cannes winners, the latter nabbing the Palme d'Or) in particular, considers definitions of family in all its different guises. 

Beautifully modulated and told with an easy, naturalistic style, they can effortlessly toggle between comedy and drama, exploring erious issues with a gossamer-light touch. His latest, Broker, continues this penchant for exploring family dynamics with an unflinching but always hopeful and tender eye.

The result is a guaranteed contender during this year's awards season and has already conquered the hearts and minds of viewers at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

The film tells the story of a young mother who abandons her child outside a church's baby box, and the unofficial adoption-brokerage group that then takes the newborn in the hope of selling it to a family. Yet, there are no bad people here – only bad circumstances. 

It is testament to the writer-director's compassionate writing and the elegance of his filmmaking that, in spite of its subject matter, Broker is a breezy film full of charm and wit. When So-young (Lee Ji-eun, also known as K-pop star IU) returns to take her baby back, she decides to join the smugglers for a chance to meet the parents who want to adopt her child.    

Thus begins a one-of-a-kind road trip where the young mother, once completely alone and guilt-ridden, gets to know a ragtag band of human beings who together redefine the meanings of coexistence, friendship and family.

Led by the cheery Sang-hyeon (the wildly charismatic Song Kang-ho, winner of the Best Actor award in Cannes for his performance and best known to UK audiences as the star of Bong Joon-ho's Parasite), the group also includes his "partner in crime" Dong-soo (Gang Dong- won) and a lively seven-year- old orphan, whose mischievous presence brings to mind the little brother from Panah Panahi's Hit The Road, another Picturehouse Entertainment release.

This makeshift family finds in one another the true and sincere connection they failed to get elsewhere, and their ease with each other makes Broker a funny, heartwarming journey that we never want to see end.

This convivial atmosphere affects even the stone-faced, cold-hearted detective on their tail (Bae Doona, familiar from Bong Joon-ho's The Host), her initial steely resolve to catch them in the act most chilling of all. As the unusual criminals make their way to their

destination, the absorbing film also charts her raw and emotional reflections on togetherness and motherhood, both in general and as they pertain to her own life.

More than family, though, Broker is most of all about emotional elasticity, the courage and trust it takes to question and look beyond societal norms, towards ways of being that genuinely make people happy, support them and help them thrive. A life-giving current courses through this miracle of a film, and endures within the audience long after the credits have rolled.   Elena Lazic

You'll like this

If you enjoyed these films

Parasite (2019)
Shoplifters (2018)
Hit The Road (2020)

Pick up a copy of Picturehouse Recommends at a Picturehouse Cinema near you, or become a Member

Broker is in cinemas from 24 February!