VIFF 2019: Birthday

South Korea

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      More like a deep family study from Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda than your usual blood-pumping Korean fare, this Birthday centres on the anniversary of a boy’s tragic death, leaving sorrow and broken relationships in its wake, as an absent father returns for the event.

      The movie teases out the cause of death—a real-life event that traumatized the nation—and the reasons Dad was gone. But it takes a tender view of people too wounded to face each other, but to human not to try. Sad, but highly recommended.