Koreans who grew up in Europe search for their roots in Return to Seoul

It took South Korea 70 years to get to where it is today, at the cutting edge of world technology and culture. So much time has passed since the Korean War, the 7th century. in the midst of which led to famine and poverty throughout the country. This situation forced the Koreans to take drastic decisions - to give newborns condemned to poverty for adoption to more affluent couples from around the world. What happens when these babies grow up and want to know their roots? This is revealed by the film "Return to Seoul", which the film program "Bear, Lion and Branch" has been showing in Lithuanian cinemas since April XNUMX.

In the film, we follow the story of Fredi, a young Parisian. Having grown up happily in a French family, Fredi, secretly from her adoptive parents, embarks on an adventure and flies to Seoul, South Korea for a couple of weeks. This is the country where her biological parents live, having given their daughter up for adoption as a baby to a family that could provide her with a good education and a more comfortable life. 

However, Fredi doesn't know anything about South Korea, she doesn't know the Korean language and the customs of the country, the requirement to always behave politely and restrained is foreign to her. And she is just one of the 200 babies who were given up for adoption by their parents after the war. In the film, Freddy's sensitive and personal journey leads through modest Korean villages, loud nightclubs in big cities, it gets lost in translation and communicates without words - and where words are lacking, music helps. 

"Return to Seoul" is directed by Davy Chou, a French-born and raised Cambodian filmmaker: "I'm not Korean, I'm not a woman, I'm not adopted, but this story is close to me in many ways. The central universal theme of identity is what a person chooses to do when he refuses to conform to a predetermined classification and does not allow people to speak for him. Freddy keeps reinventing, defining and asserting himself."

The main role of Freddy in the film went to Park Ji-Min, an actress from South Korea with no acting experience. She settled in France at the age of eight and, according to director D. Chou, contributed significantly to the development of the film's script: "thanks to her, I suddenly came face to face with her experience - what it means to grow up in France when you are not white." Ji-Min had many questions and criticisms of the script, questioning the character's relationship with femininity, gender and men."

We have been following Freddy's life and personality transformations for more than 7 years. This time and the changes of the main character reveal to the viewer a complex, uncomfortable and sad story of a person who, against his will, finds himself between two confronting cultures. The film "Return to Seoul", which examines the connections of the modern world, themes of forgiveness, repentance and identity, was presented in the "Special View" program of the Cannes Film Festival.

Movie sessions: https://kcromuva.lt/filmai/sugrizimas-i-seula/

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