EXPAT CINEMA: RETURN TO SEOUL
We continue with our series of Expat Cinema – where we offer the best foreign movies with English subtitles. Writer-director Davy Chou’s story of a young woman looking for her birth parents in South Korea is one blissful portrait of a woman trying to find herself.
Born in South Korea and raised in France by adoptive parents, Frédérique Benoît, a.k.a. Freddie (Ji-min Park), is an arrogant, mercurial, and unyielding 25-year-old in search of answers. Unfamiliar with her native language or the intricacies of Korean culture, she spontaneously travels “home” — there’s no place like it — after being rerouted by a typhoon. There, she befriends a hotel employee named Tena (Guka Han), who sets her on the path to finding her biological parents and unearthing her origin story. While her mother remains a mystery, Freddie successfully confronts her eager father (Kwang-rok Oh). But much is lost in translation and her impetuous journey leaves her already heavy baggage packed with more questions than answers. As Thomas Wolfe once wrote, “You can’t go home again,” and it’s not long before Freddie — still recognizable, though with her foundations fully transformed and wanderlust as her North Star — is back in her motherland constructing another house of cards.