The return


2018, Denmark-South Korea
84 min., col., OV  –  Danish, English, Korean

Director Malene Choi
Scriptwriter Sissel Dalsgaard Thomsen
DoP Catherine Pattinama Coleman
Music Philip Nicolai Flindt
Editing Julius Krebs Damsbo
Cast Karoline Sofie Lee, Thomas Hwan, Seong In-Ja
Producers Julie Friis Walenciak, Julie Rix Bomholt, Katja Adomeit
Production Walenciak Film IVS, Adomeit Film
World Sales Pluto Film Distribution Network GmbH

Two Danish-Korean adoptees return for the first time to the country where they were born. Intrigued by the spirit of their motherland and confronted with the personal stories of the fellow adoptees they meet in Seoul. Karoline and Thomas are hurled into an emotionally disorienting journey that forces them both to question their own destiny and identity. Operating in a hybrid field, “The Return” is partially based on director Malene Choi’s personal experience and on stories shared by adoptees that Malene encountered in Seoul while shooting the film.

A strange country, yet it feels like coming home. On her first visit to South Korea since her adoption in Denmark, thirty-something Karoline discovers she is not the only one who wants to know where her roots are. In “The Return”, she is supported by fellow adoptees from Europe and the United States who, just like her, are trying to fill the black holes of their childhood. Chastening for some, frustrating for others. Karoline is in the latter camp. She knows where she was born and has a name, but more is needed to find her birth mother.

  • Special mention, Rotterdam IFF-2018
  • FIPRESCI Special mention, Göteborg IFF-2018
  • Special Jury prize, Jeonju IFF


Director, scriptwriter. With short doc “Essay” (2000) participated in Venice IFF. Graduated from the National Film School of Denmark’s documentary programme in 2005. Her other works were screened at Toronto Hot Docs, Göteborg Film Festival, Nordic Panorama and other significant events. Her short “Dyret” (2012) received the Danish Robert Award for best short fiction. “The Return” is her feature debut.


Theater them. Chekhov

19:00 - Return (South Korea, Denmark), Dir. Malene Choi, 87 ', competition, 18+


Cinema "October", big hall

11:00 - Return (South Korea, Denmark), Dir. Malene Choi, 87 ', competition, 18+ (repeat)