Brand New Life

Directed by Ounie Lecomte
  • France / South Korea
  • 92 minutes
  • 2009

Striking a perfect balance between the vague, distant memories of childhood and the accuracy of a rigorous script, Ounie Lecomte’s directorial debut is a remarkable film. Lecomte’s warm approach to directing envelops this bare, ascetic story of an abandoned youth with sincerity as genuine as it is devastatingly moving. A brand new pair of shoes shines on the feet of nine-year-old Jinhee (Sae-ron). Little does she know that those shoes are destined to walk her into a new life: the next day Jinhee will be taken to an orphanage and unceremoniously abandoned there in the hope somebody will adopt her.

A Brand New Life is endowed with striking intensity and effortless sincerity. From her luminous happiness in the beginning, to the disbelief and overwhelming sadness of her days at the orphanage, Kim’s stern little figure will dwell in the audience’s consciousness for a long time.

Giovanna Fulvi, Toronto International Film Festival Programme

Kim Sae-ron, Park Do-yeon, Ko An-sung