The city of Seoul, South Korea and many other eastern highly-populated cities have a growing problem; babies are being abandoned. In a culture where births from unwed mothers are considered shameful and the cost of raising a child is too much to bear, often times mothers must experience the shame and hurt of leaving their child at someone else’s doorstep, where in cold temperatures, these babies usually pass away from the weather. The Drop Box tells the story of Korean Pastor Lee Jong-rak and his attempts to save these abandoned babies from the cold by implementing a “baby drop box” into the side of his church, where abandoned babies can be left warm, and can be cared for by Pastor Lee ad his wife.
The film also takes a look into the controversy surrounding the idea of the “baby drop box.” Some say that a drop box encourages mothers to leave their babies behind and that the box is a way to enable the abandonment of babies. While this is a valid thought, this film reveals the true need for the box. Without it, babies would surely die from the cold. Many of the children that are left behind have disorders such as down syndrome and without the accepting love of Pastor Lee, would have never survived.
From a production standpoint, this film is gorgeous. Similarly to other Heartland film, American Real: The Forrest Lucas Story, this film used a lot of production techniques not normally seen in a documentary; with elaborate shots and the use of a very high-resolution camera, the film looks like that of a feature film. The cinematography brings the story of Pastor Lee to the theaters in a way nearly as beautiful as the story itself.
The film, while very somber at points, ends on a very happy note. The audience sees how happy the children really are, with smiles on their faces and loving parents to care for them. This goes to show that though these children were abandoned, it doesn’t mean they were forgotten or unloved.
I found this film to be incredibly inspiring. From looking right into the lives of an amazing man and his faith, to seeing the impact that his family had on such a prevalent issue, this film is powerful.