Prepare yourself for a heart-wrenching drama as this Friday, we’re watching the critically acclaimed Way Back Home. It is based on a real life event about the price a desperate family must pay for a good intentioned offence.
Jeong-yeon (Jeon Do-yeon) and Jong-bae (Go Soo) live a sufficiently happy life with their four year old daughter, Hye-rin (Kang Ji Woo). Their livelihood depended on the success of their friend’s vehicle repair shop and when he commits suicide, they are landed with a hefty debt repayment as Jong-bae signed as guarantor. The hopelessness sets in as the family struggle to scrap enough to pay rent. Jeong-yeon tries to help by obligating to transport precious gemstones to Paris. Jeong-yeon is arrested in Paris’s Orly airport after being discovered to be smuggling copious amounts of cocaine in her suitcase. She is transferred to a prison upon the island of Martinque in the Caribbean where she hopes to receive a fair trial to prove her ignorance in the scheme. Her husband back in Korea, is helplessly trying to prove her innocence, whilst raising their young daughter.
Way Back Home is a deep look into the justice, or should I say ‘injustice’, system involving a foreign offender trapped thousands of miles away from home in a prison where she can’t even be provided with a Korean translator. It’s a tough watch but it serves up plenty of fantastic cinematic ploys. It evokes emotion and it delivers nicely paced suspense around Jeong-yeon’s questionable release. Will she? Won’t she? Guilty or innocent? You begin to lose hope in the officials that claim to be helping her, and you lose all confidence in the Korean embassy and their lack of empathy and motivation to fight Jeong-yeon’s case.
Way Back Home achieved a first in Korean cinema as it was shot on site in the Najayo women’s prison in the Caribbean. All the background characters in the scenes aren’t extras but real life inmates. The whole film thrives on its ability to exude truth and realism. It is a powerful narration of family, love and loyalty.
Director: Bang Eun-jin
Cast: Jeon Do-yeon, Go Soo, Kang Ji Woo.
Check out the trailer!