What makes a mother give away her baby? This is the big question in Sun Hee Engelstoft’s poignant heartbreaker of a film about three Korean women who have become pregnant outside of marriage and are now hiding from the outside world until they give birth. They live in a shelter for unwed mothers on a South Korean island, where beautiful landscapes are in sharp contrast to the fierce dilemma that women go through: should they keep their children or give them up for adoption? Engelstoft has been given unique access to this particular shelter run by the strong-willed Mrs. Im, who fights for the girls’ independence but is up against a social structure and family tradition that leaves women in an impossible situation. Engelstoft’s sensitive portrait brings us close to a forbidden world and through her own experience as a Korean adoptee, she gives a deeply personal and extraordinary insight into a culture in which women can’t choose their own fate.
Content Warning: Mention of child seperation and sexual violence