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Film Review: Birthday (2019) by Jong-un Lee

With her feature debut “Birthday”, young director Lee Jong-un, supported by Chang-dong Lee as her executive producer and Jeon Do-yeon and Sul Kyung-gu in lead roles, brings an emotional story of the Sewol ferry tragedy.

On the morning of April 16, 2014, on a route from Incheon to Jeju in South Korea, the Mw Sewol ferry tragically sank. On a ship that carried 476 passengers more than 300 high school students lost their lives.

The film opens up three years after the tragedy, following the lives of a family that lost their son/brother Su-ho (Yoon Chan-young). The boy’s father Jung-il (Sul Kyung-gu) returns to Korea, after a complicated job abroad has gone wrong, to find a dissipated relationship with his wife Soon-nam (Jeon Do-yeon) and daughter, Ye-sol (Kim Bo-min) awaiting him. To make things worse, Su-ho’s birthday is approaching, and Jung-il would like to be part of a memorial with the help of a support group.

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