In 2011, French filmmaker Davy Chou embarked on a journey that he described in our Zoom interview as “an intensity of experience that was so new and rare,” one that would effectively serve as the launchpad for his latest film, Return to Seoul. At the time, he was presenting his debut feature-length documentary, Golden Slumbers, at the Busan International Film Festival. A friend of his — who was born in South Korea, but adopted in France when she was a baby — had tagged along and asked Chou to accompany her on a visit to her biological father and grandmother.
To this day, Chou has vivid memories of the actual meeting, specifically, the “shock” of witnessing a scenario he “couldn’t have even imagined.” “[It was] so unexpected in a way. Unexpected in precision and detail,” he said. “[There was] the dryness of the situation, the transformation of my friend from self-confidence and [being] strong-willed to speechlessness and anger, [and] the pain of having her family in front of her, but the impossibility and frustration of not being able to communicate that suffering.”
Pulling directly from this moment, as well as his friend’s experience with being adopted, Return to Seoul follows 25-year-old Freddie (played by Park Ji-min), a French adoptee, who makes the impulsive decision to travel to South Korea. While on a journey to discover who she is and where she belongs, she reaches out to her biological parents for the first time through the agency that facilitated her adoption. Fortunately, her biological father accepts her offer to reconnect. Little does Freddie know, their encounter will forever alter the course of her life as she finds herself in uncharted waters, mentally and emotionally.
In full: https://movieweb.com/return-to-seoul-davy-chou-interview/