The film does not seek to paint ethics in black and white clarity, resisting any effort to politicise or polemicise. Despite this, the core of the film is a celebration of life, an exploration of the meaning of family, and an unflinching affirmation of the inviolable value of the human individual. To the question, what am I worth if I was abandoned, orphaned, divorced, poor, morally compromised, or whatever else? the film responds: thank you for being born.
From a Christian perspective, this was refreshing. Rarely does a film portray human complexity without cynicism. The ‘ethics of Life’ has made its foray into the cinema scene several times in the last few years including Ozan’s drama exploring euthanasia, Everything Went Fine (2021), or the more widely known Me Before You back in 2016 delving into similar waters. They bring with them their own nuanced perspectives, but they trend towards the possibility of death being more desirable than life. Into this conversation, Broker provides an uncomfortable yet much-needed counterpoint in which life wins. The film doesn’t glorify or heroise the Church's efforts, playing only a minor background element. Instead, it is the story of complicated, broken people stumbling through the best they can.
Broker debuted in Cannes 2022, releasing in South Korean cinemas in June, but has only just made it into cinemas in the UK. It will probably not gain wider cinema openings like Parasite did, but if you have a chance to watch it at your local independent cinema, you are in for a heartwarming, meditative, and intimate experience, dripping with humanity.