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The Return

Malene Choi Jensen
Denmark 2018 / 87’
The Load We the Animals

You don't even look Asian-this is how Karoline's adoptive mother has comforted her on many an occasion. But this would do nothing to ease her feeling of otherness whenever she-born in Korea but raised in Denmark-would study her face in the mirror. Now, many years later, she's still tormented by who she is. A trip to Korea is meant to provide answers. The title return, however, sounds more like a cruel joke, given that Karoline isn't familiar with the country where she was born-in fact, it's completely foreign to her. In Seoul, she has a chance encounter with Thomas, and soon it turns out that they have a lot in common. They are both victims, and in the first year of their lives, they were given up for foreign adoption. In her moving feature debut, Malene Choi Jensen blurs the boundary between fiction and reality while making allusions to her own personal experiences. In doing so, she avoids even a hint of falsehood or sentimentality. She skillfully shows cultural contrasts, using the journey of two contemporary nomads who are trying to patch together their identity from seemingly mismatched pieces. An unassuming film that really packs a punch.

Mariusz Mikliński

awards

Göteborg IFF 2018 – Special Mention

Malene Choi Jensen

Born in Denmark in 1973, Malene Choi Jensen is a director of Korean descent. She graduated from film school in Copenhagen in 2005. Her short films have been screened at numerous international festivals, including Hot Docs in Canada and the Göteborg Film Festival in Sweden. The Return, her feature debut, made its world premiere at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam, where it was well received by critics.

Filmography

2000 Essay (short doc)

2008 Voice over Voice (short doc.)

2012 Dyret (short)

2015 Nature (short)

2018 Powrót / The Return

Cast & Crew

director Malene Choi Jensen
screenplay Sissel Dalsgaard Thomsen
cinematography Catherine Pattinama Coleman
editing Julius Krebs Damsbo
music Philip Nicolai Flindt
cast Karoline Sofie Lee, Thomas Hwan, Seong In-Ja
producer Julie Friis Walenciak, Julie Rix Bomholt, Katja Adomeit
production Walenciak Film, Adomeit Film ApS, Cine Everywhere
sales Pluto Film
language English, Danish, Korean
colouration colour