Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Broker, a Korean-language drama about an abandoned child, illegal baby brokers and makeshift families, has won the Ecumenical jury award for best film at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

Kore-eda, who won Cannes’ top prize, the Palme d’Or, in 2018 for Shoplifters, makes his first foray into Korean cinema with Broker, which features Parasite star Song Kang-ho as the “broker,” a loveable rogue who pinches an infant left by a desperate mother at a Busan Family Church’s “baby box” and tries to find an alternative family for her. Together with a fellow broker, played by Gang Dong-won, they initially try and sell the baby. But when the child’s mother, played by Lee Ji-eun, returns, a very different story unfolds.

“The film shows, in an intimate way, how family can be family without blood ties,” the Ecumenical jury said in a statement. “Lives and souls are being protected by a secure environment created by the three adults and an orphan boy around the baby, despite the many different tormented backgrounds.”

The Ecumenical jury, made up of members of Christian film organizations Interfilm (Protestant) and Signis (Catholic) selects its best film from Cannes competition that “best touches the spiritual dimension of our existence.” The jury, which has been awarding prizes in Cannes since 1974, has a strong track record for picking films that go on to win top prizes at the festival’s main event. Last year’s Ecumenical jury winner, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car, won best screenplay honors in Cannes last year and followed up with an Oscar for best international film.

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