Up 3,444 this week

A Brand New Life (2009)
"Yeo-haeng-ja" (original title)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,350 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 19 critic

Inspired by her childhood, French-Korean filmmaker Ounie Lecomte recounts the emotional journey of a little girl abandoned by her father in an orphanage.



0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 09 Jun 2011
a list of 40 titles
created 21 Jul 2011
a list of 45 titles
created 07 Sep 2012
a list of 23 titles
created 16 Dec 2012
a list of 43 titles
created 8 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: A Brand New Life (2009)

A Brand New Life (2009) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Brand New Life.
6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Poetry (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A sixty-something woman, faced with the discovery of a heinous family crime and in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class.

Director: Chang-dong Lee
Stars: Jeong-hie Yun, Da-wit Lee, Hira Kim
The Host (2006)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people. One victim's loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.

Director: Joon-ho Bong
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon, Hae-il Park
Silenced (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Gang In-ho, who is working to earn money for his daughter's surgery, is appointed to a school for hearing-impaired children in Gwangju. But what he discovers there is an ugly truth: the ... See full summary »

Director: Dong-hyuk Hwang
Stars: Yoo Gong, Yu-mi Jeong, Hyeon-soo Kim
The Attorney (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An ambitious tax attorney decides to represent an old friend in court.

Director: Woo-seok Yang
Stars: Yeong-ae Kim, Do Won Kwak, Dal-su Oh
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Joon-ik Lee
Stars: Jun-seok Bang, Kwi-Jung Chu, Hyeon-seong Hwang
I Am a Dad (2010)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A corrupt detective infiltrates a gang and tries to save his daughter. One day he finds out the heart his daughter would receive as a transplant is from a magician he falsely accused.

Director: Man-bae Jeon
Stars: Seung-woo Kim, Byung-ho Son, Ha-ryong Im
Director: Ounie Lecomte
Stars: Céline Sallette, Elyes Aguis, Françoise Lebrun
God of Study (TV Series 2010)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
Stars: Su-ro Kim, Doona Bae, Yun-a Oh
Barbie (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Soon-Young (Kim Sae-Ron) is a young girl who is the head of her family. She lives with her mentally handicapped father (Jo Yong-Suk), unscrupulous uncle (Lee Chun-Hee) and younger sister ... See full summary »

Director: Sang-woo Lee
Stars: Ah-ron Kim, Sae-ron Kim, Cheon-hee Lee
The Neighbors (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Enough nagging can drive one to switch teams.

Director: Hwi Kim
Stars: Yunjin Kim, Dong-seok Ma, Chun Ho-jin
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Ounie Lecomte
Stars: Jocelyne Desverchère
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A failed suicide attempt leads a heartbroken man to live a life in the wilderness.

Director: Hae-jun Lee
Stars: Min-heui Hong, So-yeon Jang, Jae-yeong Jeong


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sae-ron Kim ...
Do Yeon Park ...
Myeong-shin Park ...
Man-seok Oh ...
Director Koo
Jinhee's father
Seong-kun Mun ...
Hyun-joo Baek ...
Sister Lim
Yejin Jeong ...
Sister Park
Hackjin Mun ...
Yoo-nah Kim ...
Mrs. Choi
Hanbyoul Lee ...
Robert Youngs ...
Sookhee's adoptive father
Lara Tosh ...
Sookhee's adoptive mother
The American pupeteer (as Richard Wilson)


Young Jinhee is taken by her father to an orphanage near Seoul. He leaves her there never to return, and she struggles to come to grips with her fate. Jinhee desperately believes her father will come back for her and take her on a trip. The film is based on the experiences of the director, an ethnic Korean who was adopted by a French couple in the 1970s. Written by peter07

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

orphanage | 1970s | girl | little girl | korean | See more »




See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

29 October 2009 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Et helt nytt liv  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The children have amazing strength and resilience
3 March 2012 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

One of the greatest fears of childhood is being abandoned by your parents and left to face the world alone. In A Brand New Life, winner of Best Asian Film Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival, French director Ounie Lecomte recalls her childhood in South Korea with this sensitively rendered and touching story of a young girl who was left by her father in an all-girls Catholic orphanage to be placed for adoption. Set in Seoul in 1975, nine-year-old Jin-hee, superbly performed by Kim Sae-rom, does not suspect anything out of the ordinary after spending a day with her father (Sol Kyung-gu) buying new clothes, going out to dinner, and taking a ride together on his bicycle.

When Jin-hee is suddenly dropped off the next day at an orphanage just after her father bought her a cake that she picked out, she is bewildered but believes that her father will return to bring her home. Left to adjust to a strange new environment, however, she is full of anger. Though she is treated well by the nuns and the other children, she refuses to comply with the rules and resists the requests of sister Bomo (Park Myeong-shin), the woman who runs the orphanage. Refusing to speak, eat or change clothes, Jin-hee pleads with the director Koo (Oh Man-seok) to allow her to call her father but he is unable to find him. Planning to escape, she spends the night outside in the cold.

When she decides to return, she begins to reluctantly accept that her father will not return and that she will sooner or later be placed for adoption, perhaps with a family from another country. Fortunately, she finds a friend in 11-year-old Sook-hee (Park Do-yeon), a bright and outgoing girl who has learned to say the right things to prospective parents, but often causes trouble with the nuns. The two girls practice English together, play card games, sneak extra pieces of cake for each other, and care for a sick bird. Sook-hee tells her that she has started to have her period but she must keep it a secret. They talk about another girl Yeshin (Ko Ah-sung) who is depressed by a letter she receives from a boy (Mun Hack-jin) that she has a crush on.

Even though she is able to bond with Sook-hee, Jin-hee remains distressed about the lies her father told her, taking out her frustration by destroying Christmas dolls given to children as gifts, and refusing to answer questions at a meeting with perspective parents. A Brand New Life involves the heart but refuses to pull out all the dramatic stops to ratchet up the tears. Though its theme is downbeat, it is not a depressing film because the children are shown as having amazing strength and resilience. When each girl leaves with a new family and the remaining children sing "Auld Lang Syne," they are not just saying goodbye and lamenting the old times, but designing a brand new life for their friend and voicing hope as well for their own future.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss A Brand New Life (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: