BROKER (MIFF 2022) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

As seen most famously in his Palme d’Or winning 2018 film Shoplifters, there is nothing Hirokazu Kore-eda seems to like more than tales about grifters told with compassion and humanity. Once again, the notion of “family” – defined in its loosest sense – lies at the heart of Broker. What is being brokered here are babies, but as one of the police women central to the film’s plot notes, to frame what is happening here as a “professional child trafficking ring” may be reductive and missing the point entirely of what is really at stake. Broker is a film about grifters, sure, but at its core it is a low-key but heartfelt, sincere and totally unique exploration of the wondrous, nuanced complexity of how people both survive and connect on a fundamental level.

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