Cinema: Les Bonnes Étoiles, adoption rather than abortion

Cinema: Les Bonnes Étoiles, adoption rather than abortion

While in France, the right to abortion is on the way to entering the Constitution and that the cinema, more militant than ever, makes us alternately in praise of Simone Veil (Simone, the trip of the century) and MLAC (Movement for Abortion and Contraception Freedom) (Annie Anger), the famous Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda sounds a different story with The Lucky Stars.

The film returns to the phenomenon of “baby boxes”, these baby drop boxes found in Japan and Korea, which some desperate mothers use to entrust their child to an orphanage. The character of So-Young, played by Korean pop singer Lee Ji-eun, is one of them. By abandoning her baby Woo-sung, she is unaware that he will be immediately taken back by two men of dubious morals who compensate for their meager income by illegally selling orphans to foster families unable to adopt.

The young mother, however, decides to return and gradually bonds with these soft-hearted “human traffickers” who are determined to find new relatives for Woo-sung. From then on, this trio of casualties, to which a fourth companion is added during the story, Hae-Jin, a facetious little boy of about ten who has run away from his orphanage, travels the country aboard of a van in order to find the rare pearl and offer the baby the best possible future. Unbeknownst to them, however, the police are watching them and waiting for the perfect moment to intervene…

Setting down his camera in South Korea for the first time in his career, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda offers us an original, sensitive and often funny road movie, and offers himself the opportunity to work with big names in local cinema. , in particular the very good Song Kang-ho, an actor accustomed to the films of Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho. In the spotlight, the star of Parasite lends its support to a story that allows the filmmaker to dig ever further into the furrow of the family comedy-drama, a register that he particularly likes – one thinks of his previous feature films Like father, like son, our little sister, after the storm and, of course, to A family matterwhich won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2018.

With The Lucky Starsthe filmmaker mainly addresses these orphans and abandoned children, he confides in an interview, questioning the legitimacy of their existence: “What film was I going to be able to offer to these children who fought fiercely against the inner and outer voices that hammered at them that they should not have been born? It is this question that has always been at the center of my work. […] I wanted the film to be able to clearly signify that every birth counts, that every life has its place. » This is why, faced with this intransigent policewoman who, during a dialogue, reproaches him for having abandoned his son, So-Young loses his temper: is it really more serious, basically, to abandon his son? – destined to be taken in by a family – than to kill him by resorting to abortion? A strong passage which alone sums up the filmmaker’s software. So much so that one wonders if the rave reviews from a certain left-wing press really understood the film…

4 out of 5 stars

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