New Normal

Thriller, horror
Korean, English and Czech subtitles
Directing: Jeong Beom-sik
Starring: Choi Ji-woo, Choi Minho, Pyo Ji-hoon, Lee Yoo-mi
Distributor: UNPA studio


In 2018, director Jung Bum-shik made a breakthrough in Korean horror films with his found footage success Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum. A few years later, he returns with another genre-busting Korean treat.

New Normal shows in several stories how the pandemic changed the world. How it changed us. With his latest film, director Jung Bum-shik draws attention to how isolation intensifies our loneliness in today’s world. With smartphone in hand, we have always been somewhat disconnected from our surroundings. But even everyday things – going to lunch or meeting up with friends – can be downright frightening in this film. But is that really only the case in the film?

New Normal perfectly juggles various genres, from social horror to thriller to slapstick comedy. Perhaps most impressive, however, is the ensemble cast. Fans of Korean TV drama will notice Choi Ji-woo (Winter Sonata, Twenty Again), K-pop fans will appreciate idols turned actors Choi Minho (Shinee) and Pyo Ji-hoon (P.O. from Block B). Rounding out the entire starting cast is Lee Yoo-mi, the breakout start of Squid Game.


Korean, English and Czech subtitles
Directing: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Starring: Song Kang-ho, Gang Dong-won, Bae Doona, Lee Ji-eun, Lee Joo-young
Distributor: CJ ENM


Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho) and Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won) steal babies from a baby box and sell them to highest bidding families. One day they meet So-young (Lee Ji-Eun), who has also abandoned her baby, and by a coincidence decides to join the two friends to see her baby’s new parents. Meanwhile, two detectives become involved and eventually, someone will die! A simple description of the plot could suggest that Broker is a crime thriller about illegal child trafficking. But that is not the case when Hirokazu Kore-eda is in charge.

The master of relationship dramas, Hirokazu Kore-eda, here yet again explores his favourite motif of a family and what it means. This nuanced drama, in the director’s typically gentle and subdued style, is full of tragicomical and touching moments, without ever resorting to superficial sentiment. Broker, only the second film after the French The Truth Kore-eda set outside of his native Japan, loses none of his typical poetics. It is semantically accurate, formally plain, and it builds on the power of the mundane. Broker is one of the most powerful films of the year!