Broadcast by Canal+ on April 5, “Vanishing” features Olga Kurylenko and Yoo Yeon-Seok in a Korean thriller about organ trafficking, by filmmaker Denis Dercourt.
Investigation in Seoul with Olga Kurylenko
Directed by Denis Dercourt, Vanishing features Jin-ho, a Seoul police inspector investigating the strange death of a young girl. A stranger whose body is in poor condition does not allow her to find her identity. The policeman then calls Alice, a professor of forensic medicine who has developed a new method for taking fingerprints and is present in the capital for a seminar. His help allows us to identify the victim and discover that his death is linked to organ trafficking.
To embody Alice, Denis Dercourt chose Olga Kurylenko. The actress is accompanied in this thriller by Yoo Yeon-Seok, who notably made her debut in old boy (2003). Vanishing then has the particularity of being turned into several languages. Mainly in Korean, but also in English for the interactions between Alice and Jin-ho. Through their relationship, the film points out cultural differences, especially when it comes to expressing one’s feelings. Since then Vanishing is not just a simple thriller but features a very successful delicate romantic part.
Vanishing a “real” Korean film
Originally, Vanishing shouldn’t have happened in South Korea. In fact, it is an adaptation of the novel The Disappeared of Shanghai by Peter May which takes place in China. However, for censorship reasons, producer Alexis Dantec preferred to move the plot to Seoul. He then proposed the project to director Denis Dercourt who reworked the script for six years before being able to start filming.
It is therefore a question of a french production with a French director writing and scripting, but who has all from a Korean movie. Vanishing coming out on 700 screens in South Korea we had to make sure that every detail was authentic and corresponded to Korean culture. A major plot change was then necessary, as the filmmaker explains in the film’s press kit:
In the novel, organ trafficking was surrounded by widespread corruption, organized at the municipal level of a major Chinese city, BLACK COAL. What is unfortunately credible in China could not be in South Korea, and I had to carry out research on all the mafia “sectors” discovered in recent years. They often involved Chinese immigrants, both on the mafia side and on the victim side, and this allowed me to return to certain aspects of the original novel.
Vanishing can be found on Canal+ and MyCanal from April 5, 2022.