French-Cambodian director questions identity in ‘Return to Seoul’

“Return to Seoul” is film set in Seoul but spoken in English, French and Korean. It is a multinational collaborative production screened at Cannes and Cambodia’s selection for the Best Foreign Language Film at next year’s Academy Awards. It is these things, and much, much more.

The film follows Freddie, a Frenchwoman who was born in Korea and returns to her birthplace on a whim. Throughout her intermittent stay over the course of seven years, she not only carves in a niche for her herself in Korea but also connects — or fails to — with her biological family and many others. It may seem a simple premise, but “Return to Seoul” shines a bright light on what it means to resonate with others, the notion of identity and the Korean family.

The Korea JoongAng Daily sat down with Davy Chou, the French-Cambodian director of “Return to Seoul,” on Dec. 15 for a conversation on the many themes of the film, the process of telling Freddie’s story and casting veteran Korean actors like Oh Kwang-rok and Kim Sun-young along with an ensemble of new talent.

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