Return to Seoul

A film by Davy Chou.

[Credits] [Tickets & Termine] [Trailer]

What does hap­pi­ness look like? The ques­ti­on throbs under the sen­suous sur­faces and emo­tio­nal­ly fraught dia­lo­gues of Davy Chou’s reso­nant third fea­ture RETURN TO SEOUL. Frederique, or Freddie, a young French woman born of South Korean par­ents revi­sits Seoul: what starts out as a see­mingly casu­al trip to con­nect with her cul­tu­ral past soon ripens into a jour­ney of angu­is­hed self-dis­co­very, as Freddie visits an adop­ti­on agen­cy and tri­es to make cont­act with her bio­lo­gi­cal par­ents. Expanding the nar­ra­ti­ve to move briskly through packed days befo­re sud­den­ly lea­ping years, Chou gives his edgy heroi­ne a leng­thy, yet rich­ly nuan­ced script to work with. In the film, fami­li­al love lies in wait, punc­tua­ted by new fri­end­ships and sexu­al expe­ri­men­ta­ti­on, and the need for mate­r­nal accep­tance, though ago­ni­zin­gly essen­ti­al, slow­ly ripens into only a broa­der search for self-awa­re­ness. But how does one beco­me ful­ly self-awa­re while not under­stan­ding one’s ori­g­ins? Thomas Favel’s quiet­ly atten­ti­ve cine­ma­to­gra­phy sus­ta­ins the exis­ten­ti­al eeri­ne­ss of Freddie’s quest. Newcomer Park Jin-Min in the title role deli­vers an exhi­la­ra­ting per­for­mance as a rebel­lious young woman who refu­ses to be wre­cked by the immensi­ty of her lon­ging, yet must learn to ack­now­ledge, and then embrace, her vul­nerabi­li­ty. (Ela Bittencourt)

Credits:

BE/DE/FR/QT 2022, 119 Min., frz, kore­an., engl. OmU,
Regie: Davy Chou
Kamera: Thomas Favel
Schnitt: Dounia Sichov
mit: Ji-Min Park, Oh Kwang-rok, Guka Han, Yoann Zimmer

Trailer:
RETURN TO SEOUL | Official Trailer (2022)
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