Haeundae-gu, Busan, Republic of Korea,
Jae-i and Geon-wu are a loving couple, but they have different views on marriage and childbirth. Jae-i is an up-and-coming novelist who dreams of fulfilling her career, while Geon-wu, a teacher at a private language school, desires to get married and build a family. One day, Jae-i becomes pregnant, causing a significant shift in their relationship. Jae-i doesn't want to have a child now that her career is finally taking off, while Geon-wu eagerly awaits parenthood. They struggle between their individual lives and life together, making efforts to understand each other. However, their dreams seem to drift apart, and their love starts to waver.
Directed and written by Yoo Ji-young, this film won the Grand Prix in the Proxima competition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival last summer. The movie tackles the sensitive and controversial topics of pregnancy out of wedlock and abortion rights in Korea, where these issues are still taboo and heavily debated. The movie also explores the social pressure and expectations that Korean women face to start and support a family, often at the expense of their professional aspirations and personal fulfillment. Yoo Ji-young, who debuted in 2017 with the feature Duck Town, said that she wrote the script for Birth based on her own questioning on whether it would be possible for her to achieve her dreams and feel fulfilled as a mother and wife, as well as a writer and film director. Birth is a powerful and provocative movie that challenges the norms and values of Korean society and invites the viewers to reflect on their own choices and beliefs.