Mothers (2017) - full transcript

Hyo Jin is a 32-year-old woman. Two years ago, her husband died in an accident. Her husband has a 16-year-old son, Jong Wook, from a previous marriage. Hyo Jin begins to live with Jong Wook.

I went to the hospital.

I have a feeling it's stomach cancer.

Good afternoon!

The doctor said to
wait for the results,

but I think this is it.

You recently had a physical.

How could it be cancer?

Which hospital?

Your own mom's sick.

How can you react like that?

I'll look into it.



Look into what?

What good's a daughter?

I've got a class.

I'll call you later.

- Bye.
- Goodbye!

- See you.
- Have a good day, ma'am!

How damn cute!

It's so hot.

Did the damn copier break again?

The paper's not even jammed.
What's the problem?

- Should I call the repair guy?
- Used ones always break.

Let's buy a new one when we move.

A small one.

One of those combo printers.



But I got it for free, and
it had been working well.

And how could you say
"damn" in front of the kids?

You should be careful as a teacher.

But they're so damn cute.

It's hard enough to stop
the kids from swearing.

Moreover, you're pregnant.

Damn isn't a swear word.

Listen to her.

Is anything wrong?

I'm just lethargic and
my body feels like a ton.

You're not sick?

You're always tired these days.

You should get some herbal tonic

from the place I get mine.

I don't need any of that.

You need to take care of
yourself since you live alone.

Don't be stubborn.

I used to get along

really well with the kids.

If they didn't behave,

I just let it go.

But I felt that I should control them,

even though I'm just a
teacher at an academy.

What gets me is that

my friend just ignores them,

but ironically, they like her more.

That's bothering you most these days?

Other things, too.

I don't know what's wrong with me.

Exhausted, maybe?

I have no appetite,
but I still gain weight.

Not at all. Hyo-jin, you
look great right now.

Take your call.

Mom, I heard it
straight from the doctor.

He said it's no big deal.
It's just chronic gastritis.

If you take medicine you'll be fine,

so don't worry.

You panicked last time, too,

yet it was nothing.

Thanks for listening.

And for the free coffee.

I should thank you. It's
good practice for me.

I should pay you to get
psychiatric counseling

in the near future.

I still have a long way to go.

I'm only still learning.

What are you doing this weekend?

Nothing special. I always sleep.

That's why you're always tired.

Want to see a movie this Saturday?

A movie?

The location's perfect. There
are lots of schools nearby.

But it's so expensive.

Come on, this isn't expensive.

You know how much
the rent is upstairs?

The owner likes to
keep things neat and tidy,

so she may lower your rent

if I tell her it's for an academy.

Should I ask her?

I don't need this much space.

We don't have many kids.

Bigger is always better.

That way you can
take in more students.

- Just a minute.
- Sure.

Hello?

Yes, how have you been?

What?

You're here in Cheongju?

I'm not at home now.

Yes.

Hyo-jin.

Should I order some more barbecue?

No, I'm okay.

Really?

It seems like I ate it all...

Or do you want something else?

But, what is it you wanted to say?

Right.

Actually, I got a call
from Jeongeup recently.

You know that Jong-uk's been raised

by his grandmother, right?

Yes.

Some time ago,

she was diagnosed with dementia.

She's been put into a nursing home.

So?

Well...

When my brother was alive,

his ex-wife's mother

took care of Jong-uk.

But it looks like

that's no longer possible.

Anyway...

We've been thinking...

a kid needs a mother.

Besides,

Jong-uk's not an orphan, right?

But how could I...

He's not a troublemaker.

Just try meeting him.

He seems really nice. And besides...

You haven't seen him

since he was a child, right?

If he's nice,

can't you take him in instead?

He'd like that better.

Oh, no, we...

As you already know, we're
not doing well financially.

If we take him in,

my family will have
to be out in the streets.

We're not asking you to decide now.

Just...

meet him once, please.

Your call has been forwarded to...

He doesn't answer the
phone, and no one's home.

I typed the address

you told me on the GPS.

Okay...

Just a minute.

Do you happen to live here?

It's my friend's house.

You're Jong-uk's friend?

Who's asking?

Huh?

I'm a relative.

Do you know where Jong-uk is?

I don't know.

He's ignoring my texts.

Running away like a kid...

He ran away?

If you see him later,

can you call me?

Okay.

Oh.

I'm Jong-uk's aunt.

Please give me a call.

Jeong-hui.

Oh, Hyo-jin!

What brings you here?

I was passing by.

- Where's my mom?
- At the Experience Center.

She goes every Saturday.

Are you hungry? You want something?

I ate already. Maybe
something to drink?

I'll get you some rice punch.

Wow, what brings you

all the way out here?

Jeong-hui, what's the rent like here?

Are they cheap?

Yeah, it's not too expensive.

My landlord's our church elder

and your mom knows him, too.

That's great.

Business is good?

So-so.

And you?

You're moving your academy?

Yeah. Thinking about it...

It's kind of a headache.

Yeah, you look tired.

Hey, it's your mom.

Hello? Hyo-jin is here!

So their son is divorced.

That daughter-in-law
is really full of herself.

Who does she think she is?

Don't cut the tofu like that!

What?

The pieces should be small for soup.

That's not stew.

I'll do it my way.

What difference does it make?

Why are you so cranky?

I can hardly talk to you.

Have you got any money?

Where would I get money?

The money Jeong-hui pays me isn't much.

Why do you need it?

Never mind, I'm fine.

And Mom...

Don't tell Jeong-hui stuff about me.

What?

I didn't tell her anything about you.

She already knows what happened to you

after you got married.

Isn't she family?

Whatever.

I feel sorry

that you ended up with her.

Why are you sorry?

It's better off for Jeong-hui this way.

I teach her to cook

and even help her at the shop.

I told Jeong-hui

to just stay single,

earn a lot of money, and
enjoy life being single.

If only you hadn't married him.

You said you'd stay single,

but then you met a guy with a child.

Don't you get sick of telling me that?

I wasn't nagging you

to get married like other mothers do.

I said to take your time,

and not end up regretting like me.

You don't like anything I do, right?

Who said that?

I'm just telling you the facts.

Would I live like this

if I hadn't got pregnant with you?

What did I say?

You always do what you please.

I think I'll close this place.

Why? You were planning to move.

Can't find a decent place?

Just because.

Student numbers are dropping,

and you'll have a baby soon.

That's no excuse. I'm fine.

This work doesn't suit me.

And school vacation is coming.

I have to move out anyway.
Now seems like the right time.

I'm pregnant, but you're
more depressed than me.

Get some rest. You're
exhausted, that's all.

You used to be so energetic.

It's not still because
of your husband, is it?

It's been two years already.

That's a relief.

- But what happened with the kid?
- What?

Doesn't he have to move out

because of the nursing home fees?

I don't know.

They'll figure out something.

Listen to you.

You need to be firm with them.

I'll tell them.

I can't raise him either.

Eat something with your beer.

Are you really okay?

I just don't feel like eating.

It's your mind that's the problem.

Your deteriorating health,
the fatigue, and all that...

Do you like your work, Jeong-u?

Making coffee?

I'm just helping my sister out.

Not that, your studies.

I originally wasn't that
interested in this field.

And I'm not that book smart.

But now that I've started,

I've come to like it.

Why?

This work suits you.

All that fancy coffee roasting

is good for my image, I guess.

I admit it's what got me started.

What the heck?

I've been scammed.

You were just bluffing, huh?

I better stop the counseling.

Yes, you should.

Quit the counseling, and instead...

We should go out.

I'll do that for free, too.

What do you mean it's for free?

You think love comes for free?

You can't earn
someone's heart that easily.

It was a joke.

You didn't erase the graffiti?

Come on, you're going
to rebuild it anyway.

It looks so messy, though.

Your boss isn't here?

No.

I need her signature.

Hyo-jin's out of town today.

Okay.

Yeah.

But why did you go there?

What? Transfer schools?

I can't believe you.

Tell him to finish middle school there!

I knew something was off
when you said he ran away.

Kids like that

cause more trouble when
they transfer schools.

Don't try to be nice,

and just tell them no
straight up. Got that?

Anyway, let's talk later.

Bye.

You've got nothing to say?

- It's about time.
- Well...

Oh, hello.

- Hello.
- This is the homeroom teacher.

Nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you.

Say hello.

Please have a seat.

- Yes.
- Here.

Sit.

Take this,

and submit it when you register

for his middle school.

I don't know the system there,

but since he's in his final year,

this might also help later

when you prep him

for high school.

When you go to Cheongju,

you need to focus on your studies.

Okay?

No more trouble.

Honey.

You always clip your nails

as if you're hiding something.

Like a cat.

Ouch, be careful!

I thought you'd be late
because of the traffic.

Did you send all your things?

The delivery came,
but it wasn't very much.

Yes.

You must be sad to leave your friends.

With everyone on vacation,

you probably couldn't
say goodbye to everyone.

I'll get a used uniform

since middle school is almost over.

Is that okay?

Yes.

Is there anything you don't eat?

Are you crazy?

It'll work out somehow.

After all, I also teach
middle school kids.

That's a different matter!

Now you'll be responsible
for his entire life.

I'll send him off when he turns 20.

Think it's so easy?

This is what you do after
saying you're lethargic?

You're hopeless.

He was in the 5th grade
the first time I saw him.

He's grown so much.

I didn't notice it then,

but he looks a lot like my husband.

Yeah, sure.

Legally you're his mother, I know.

If someone needs to take him in,

it could be you.

But Hyo-jin...

You're exactly the kind of person

who shouldn't take him in.

Are you a philanthropist?

How can you afford to raise him?

You're closing the academy.
What's your plan then?

I really don't get you.

Or...

I could tell him to stay at
the academy for a while.

He can study with me...

You're unbelievable.

Have you eaten?

Yes.

What did you have?

Ramen.

We're living together now.

Which means there are
rules we should follow.

First,

if you eat alone,

please wash the dishes.

I was going to do it after watching TV.

Okay, from next time then.

I don't know how your grandmother was,

but now I'm your guardian, all right?

Don't take this wrong.

I'll respect you,

so will you follow my guidance?

Would you answer me?

Okay.

If there's anything uncomfortable
or anything you need, tell me.

About the computer...

I didn't touch it.

That's not what I mean.

Is it broken?

You need to re-install Windows.

Then will I lose everything?

You can just install that.

Really?

Are you able to fix it?

Do you have the installation CD?

Huh?

What's that?

A USB or something you get
when you buy the computer.

Well...

Who's there?

Why didn't you tell me?

It's my business.

Your business?

Were you really not
going to tell me anything?

What should I say?

You always tell me I'm wrong,

and that I don't know anything.

Am I wrong?

If you did things properly,
I wouldn't nag you.

That's why

I always have to tell
you everything's fine!

You know why?

If I tell you the slightest worry,

then you're all like,

"What did I tell you?"

and start criticizing me.

Did you ever once think

of taking my side?

I don't know about the rest,

but living with Baek's son isn't right.

He's such a big boy.

Think about your own life.

Are you gonna give it up

to raise him?

Why not? I'm just like you.

You always go on about

how much you gave up for me.

Like mother, like daughter.

Can't I live like you?

Don't be absurd.

How could you say that to me?

Look at me.

Do you really want to live like me?

Don't you do that.

Mom!

It's not that you lived
that way because of me,

it's that your abilities
only went that far.

If it weren't for me,

you think everything would be fine?

Don't delude yourself!

Be thankful to Dad

that it wasn't worse.

Oh, my...

Wow...

It was a mistake coming here.

I knew something didn't feel
right about coming here today.

I'm leaving.

Mom!

Mom, take your phone!

Are you really leaving like this?

Of course.

You live your life,

and I'll live mine.

If you leave like this, how
would that make me feel?

What do I care?

Mom, let's talk at home.

- Come home and talk!
- Jeez.

Want to come to the
academy during the day?

It's better than just staying at home.

You can go to the library
if that's what you prefer.

There's a library by the main street.

You can study there.

At least say if you want to or not.

Are you always so quiet?

Can I...

Yes? What is it?

Go ahead.

Can I borrow some money?

How much?

I gave you some the day before.

Use that for now,

and tell me if you run out.

It's for bus fare.

Bus fare?

I want to visit my grandmother.

Oh, the nursing home...

How about we go
together this weekend...

All right, you go.

You've been there before?

Jeong-u.

I heard you went to the café.

Why didn't you call?

I just went to drink coffee.

Don't lie, you came to see me.

You're pretty bold.

But it's true.

I wanted some coffee,

and I felt like talking
some things over, okay?

See, I was right!

Will you still counsel me

even if you're not my boyfriend?

Nope.

What did she say?

The woman upstairs
says she's on vacation.

She'll be back next weekend.

This isn't it, she doesn't live here.

The address is right.

She's an adult, she could be anywhere.

It's the right place.

Forget it.

I can't go any further.

My legs hurt!

I came all the way here
because of you. Now what?

Want a piggyback?

Go to hell.

So cute.

Why won't he answer the phone?

Did he leave for good?

He's run away before.

He just skipped school then,

he didn't run away.

And he left all his stuff.

You think runaways
pack all their things?

Forget it.

He'll have his fun and come back.

He's all grown up.

When will my kid be that age?

I became a mom without any of these.

You're a student, right?

No minors.

But...

No way!

Ju-mi.

They said it's okay. Come in.

Motel

I just thought he would
be coming home late.

He really didn't go there?

I thought he might have called you.

It looked like he wanted to go alone.

What do I do?

I didn't give him much money.

Yes... okay.

That's for a missing person.

For a runaway, you just report it.

To be honest,

we don't go looking for him.

We just see if he turns
up during crackdowns.

First, I'm going to need
personal information.

Kim Hyo-jin. Age 32.

Not you, the person who ran away.

His name is Baek Jong-uk.

He's in the 9th grade, so
he's about 16 years old.

How about his date of birth?

His date of birth...

What's your relation to him?

Well...

Are you his immediate family?

He's my son.

Yeah, I just made the report.

I guess so.

Mi-ran, do me a favor.

Could you talk to your husband?

I think they simply
filled in the paper.

Something doesn't feel right.

Yeah, please look into it.

Thanks.

"Unreported change of residence,
erasure of registration."

What's "erasure of registration"?

I don't know.

Does "erasure" mean
that it no longer exists?

Did she die?

Let's just give up, okay?

What are you gonna do?

Live with her?

Please...

Be quiet.

Is that young woman nice to you?

What does she matter?

She's just my dad's lover.

Your dad married her,

so that makes her your mom.

- How old is she?
- Jesus!

I just want to make money
and move out quickly.

Then what?

How will you earn money?

I'll save up by doing deliveries,

then open up a restaurant
and make ends meet.

Stop dreaming.

Getting by with what
I earn is my dream.

Huh? My battery...

Who's that?

A guy I know.

- A guy?
- Yeah, at Jeil High School.

Buzz off!

How are we getting home?

We have no bus fare.

I don't know.

Try calling your mother.

Forget it.

How can you be so hopeless?

Where are you?

Hello?

Who is this?

I'm Jong-uk's friend...

What have you been doing all this time?

Tell me. Don't just stand there.

I met my friend.

You think I wouldn't

let you visit your friend?

Why did you lie?

I reported you missing!

From now on,

be sure to tell me
before you go anywhere.

And no matter how late
it is, answer my texts.

Say something.

I'm going to die waiting.

Okay.

Take a shower.

Ah, it's not menopause.

It's a thyroid problem.

That's why they didn't know at OB-GYN.

When your thyroid
doesn't function properly,

bloody discharge can be a symptom.

Erratic menstrual cycle, too.

And you feel fatigued and irritable.

Just make sure to take your medicine

for hypothyroidism,

and come visit me regularly.

One of my classmates

speaks with a foreign accent.

I thought maybe he'd studied abroad.

But it turns out he
was adopted overseas

then moved back to Korea.

I see...

I don't get why he came back here

when it's far better living there.

As a kid,

when I saw kids adopted
to rich countries on TV,

I felt a bit envious.

Have you ever felt that?

You were envious of adoptees?

If I were adopted

by a rich family

in a rich country,

I wouldn't have struggled as much

or confronted so many challenges.

That's what I thought.

So I don't understand
people who come back.

I'd be living in
content if I were them.

I'm sure they all have their
own struggles over there.

Isn't it natural to be curious about

one's home country or mother?

Is it so important?

Are you tired?

Is anything wrong?

There's plenty wrong with me.

Tell me.

No, thanks.

I think I know what your problem is.

What is it?

Your problem is,

that you don't know
what your problem is.

You counsel me a few times,

take a few classes,

and think you've figured me out?

Hyo-jin...

Do you know me that well?

You think you know everything about me?

You're right. I don't.

That's why I want to know you better.

Jeong-u.

I used to be married,

and I have a kid.

You didn't know that,
right? That's the truth.

Why didn't you tell me?

Did I have to tell you?

That's not what I mean...

Why weren't you open
with me during counseling?

Were you playing with me?

You said it wasn't
counseling, and now it is?

Remember when you said

that it's my mind that's the problem?

It wasn't my mind,

but my body that was
sick. You got that?

God, it's getting hard to move.

- Goodbye!
- Bye.

- See you!
- Bye.

Your class finished late?

Any problems with the boy?

No.

I don't know, he never speaks.

He's not exactly like
the kids these days.

In what sense?

Compared to the kids
that come to my classes,

there's something about
him that seems different.

They're all the same.

Mothers who raise boys say

there's nothing complicated to them.

Just give them good food,

and make sure they're not
hungry. That's all there is to it.

Is it because I'm a bad cook?

Make him something
nice so he doesn't run off.

I don't know why he never speaks.

All teenage boys are like that.

They don't even talk to their mothers.

He said he went on a
trip with his girlfriend.

Is he rebelling?

His girlfriend?

The one who called?

Yeah.

She seems okay.

Yeah, it was nice of her to call.

It was to ask for bus fare.

She's the same.

It's amazing to see
young things in love.

Young lovebirds.

Hey, how did it turn out

with that graduate student at the café?

Who?

Oh, Jeong-u?

It's over.

How come? Why not date him?

Now's not the time.

I told him about me, and he ran.

What for?

Why would you do that?

Or maybe I was the one who ran.

Was that your girlfriend?

What?

The girl you visited recently.

No.

Did you go on a trip together?

What's her name?

I don't know.

Next time you want to meet her,

just tell me.

What's the big deal?

Okay.

Lucky you.

What pretty hands!

Ms. Kim, please treat her well.

How much was it to set this place up?

Want to open a shop?

No, I just...

Hey.

Instead of that, how
about working with me?

As an insurance counselor.

What?

First, come for training.

If you like it, you can register later.

Not anyone can do insurance.

You have to study and...

...so it'll help you.

There are benefits too,

so there's nothing to lose!

Where are you off to so early?

To the study room.

No breakfast?

I'll grab some...

I'm fine. I'm not hungry.

Okay. See you later.

New message

Ju-mi: Aren't you jealous?

He told me not to tell you.

I don't know exactly,

but Jong-uk went looking for his mom.

I think it's related to
the "erasure" thing.

No, she doesn't live here.

What about the person
who lived here before?

What do you mean?

I've always lived here.

You're late.

Going to the study room again tomorrow?

Take a day off.

As far as I know,

one relative is listed as her guardian.

Here it is, Park Sun-cheol.

He's her brother. He lives in Sunchang.

Then...

are there any other
relatives or children?

Well, I'm not sure...

She did say she had a
daughter who died long ago.

If there were children,

I'm sure they'd visit.

But she's had no visits.

I see.

Ma'am, your lunch is here.

You must be happy to see your grandson.

After missing him so much,

you don't recognize him?

Ma'am, we'll go now.

Take care.

Let's go.

I'll use the restroom.

Okay.

Miss...

Thank you.

Take good care of Jong-uk.

Sure.

Take this.

No ma'am, you don't have to.

Eat something nice with him on the way.

It's okay. It's the
thought that counts.

Just a ten?

Thank you.

I heard you went looking
for your mom yesterday.

Whose mom?

My mom.

I asked about that just earlier,

and they said Grandma has no daughter.

Are you sure about your mother?

Yes.

She passed away.

That's what your dad said.

I guess he didn't tell you.

Here. Am I your husband?

Yeah.

Help me out,

I haven't seen his face for a month.

I've been dying to
eat these sweet rolls.

God, I can't wait!

What?

I wanted to buy insurance from you,

but you've already quit?

How would I quit
when I didn't even start?

I took a couple of classes,
but it doesn't suit me.

You must still have money lying around.

You're raising a kid.

I'm looking around,

but it's not easy.

Even young people
can't find jobs these days.

Just don't admit to having a kid.

Unless they ask you.

That's right.

What do I do if they ask?

Say you used to be married.

It's true.

These days no one
hires women with kids.

I guess they think

we'll bring the kid
to work or something.

It's terrible.

Hey, do you have any
thoughts of tutoring?

Ji-nam's mom was asking about you.

Ji-nam?

Oh, him... His mom runs a bar, right?

Yeah.

Give it a try if you're up for it.

Look into things before
you jump into anything.

Don't do things impulsively

like you did last time.

The academy, and now the boy...

Goodness...

Something else is on my mind.

What? Did he run away again?

You know, he's similar to you.

Very impromptu.

No, it's not that.

He says his mother is alive.

Huh?

What?

He's been going around looking for her.

What do you mean? Didn't she die?

I don't know, either.

So I thought maybe your husband

could search for her.

Policemen have access
to such information, right?

I would ask him

if only I'd get to see his face.

And besides, even if you find her,

what then?

I doubt she's going to

take her kid back all of a sudden.

I'm just curious... about my husband.

Mom, why did you send so much?

It's enough to feed 10, not 2.

Thank you, Mom.

There you go again.

Should only strangers say "thank you?"

Mom, let's get along well, okay?

Ju-mi: You asleep? I'm in
trouble. What should I do?

But I didn't even have
conception dreams.

Did you not... use protection?

I did.

It's a mystery to me, too.

You know...

Maybe I'm like the Virgin Mary.

Jesus was born that way, too.

Are you hungry?

Right, I should've knocked.

Sorry.

There's nothing to eat.
Want to order take-out food?

Yeah.

What do you want?

Anything.

Okay.

Look at that face.

How can he be so pretty?

Then, you raise him.

Should I?

When he's quiet like that, he's pretty.

Every day is a battle.

He's got quite the temper.

He probably takes after his father.

Who's badmouthing our darling Si-u?

Si-u, want to live with me?

Did you tell your son
that we found his mother?

Not yet.

Not yet? Why?

Finding her was hard.

Something wrong?

Nothing in particular.

It's just a bit awkward.

He does his own laundry

and dishes separate from mine.

That's nice of him.

I mean, it's like there's
something wrong with me.

You are a stepmother.
And stepmothers are evil.

Seriously,

since he treats me that way,

I'm starting to act the part.

So hurry up and tell him

that we found his mom.

Maybe he'll want to go live with her.

Well, we won't know until we meet her.

What's the point in
doing you any favors?

You're doing more
than what you need to.

You're not going to eat?

Don't you have to eat a lot?

I don't get morning sickness,

but all I eat is soda and yogurt.

And I'm always sleepy.

I doze off like crazy.

I can never sleep enough.

But are you really sure?

You don't look pregnant.

Still, I stick out a bit.

Like a potbelly.

And hair grew on my stomach.

Want to see?

Jeez. No, thanks.

Are you able to keep staying

at your aunt's now?

Yeah. Don't worry.

They won't kick me out.

Jong-uk.

Can I have a hug?

I said I'm coming!

My aunt's worrying about me.

I'll call whenever I get bored.

Your car's in good condition.

We'll need to inspect the inside,

but for this

we can add 5 bills.

Is that it?

What do you mean?

We're giving you a generous offer.

So, would you like to sell it today?

Today?

Yes.

Can I do it in about 2 weeks?

Why until then?

It's better to sell it
as soon as possible.

What's wrong? You act
like you're being forced to go.

You wanted to see your mom.

But why are you going?

You saw the address.

You can't go there alone.

And how can I be sure that

you won't go somewhere else?

Don't worry.

I'm curious too,

but I'll only be driving you there.

To get here,

should I go this way?

Huh?

Going to the Buddhist temple?

That's a temple?

They do rituals for dead babies.

You're not here for that?

No, we're not...

Do you know a woman named Oh Yeon-hwa?

I don't recognize the name.

Who could that be...

Is it the fortune-teller perhaps?

Next to the temple,
there's a fortune-teller.

I think her family name was Oh.

I think that's it.

Not getting out?

Hello?

Hello?

How can I help you?

Hello. By any chance...

I'm not working today.

So when was that?

The accident happened in spring,

so it's been 3 years now.

It happened 3 years ago
around spring, right?

It was around then when
I got a bad feeling.

How sad... at that age...

He was a good person.

I feel so much regret

that I wasn't there for
him in his final moment.

I know.

Still,

those regrets...

Even if we could go
back, it'd be the same.

How old...

is the boy?

He just started high school.

He's all grown up.

When I left him,

he was just a boy.

I was really sick then.

Baek helped me a lot.

I practically felt dead.

I didn't know it was
due to a spiritual force.

I didn't want to burden him,

and I just wanted to live.

The greatest despair
is not "wanting to die."

It's "wanting to live."

I really wanted to live, then.

Jong-uk...

really misses you.

Really?

Yes.

I suppose.

He'd follow me around,
calling me Mommy.

I guess he still remembers?

When I left, it was Jong-uk
I worried about most.

Even though we're not related.

Well...

Can you do me a favor?

Can you tell Jong-uk
that you're his mother?

Doesn't he know that she died?

Well...

He must be misinterpreting
his old memories.

After losing his father
and grandmother,

he's very lonely.

Won't you go in?

You should at least say hello.

Is she really there?

You went searching
for her all this time.

Now you don't believe it?

There's a restroom inside?

I really need to pee.

Are you sleeping?

No.

Did you talk with your mom?

I know she's not my mom.

Did she tell you?

I knew it already.

Then why did you go
looking for her all this time

when she's not your mom?

To ask why she left me.

If it was because

she wasn't my mom.

So did you ask her?

No.

Why not?

I felt bad for her.

That woman

just ran away.

She didn't abandon you.

For her...

Stop it, please!

You're not even my mom.

Hey!

Who is your mom?

The one who birthed you?

Is that so important?

You've got a mom.

Sure, I have a mom.

You think everyone with a mom is happy?

And are you some baby?

Whining because you have no mom?

That's not it.

A book.

You get a new book
at the start of school.

You know how it feels when

someone scribbles on it all over?

It's scribbled so badly, you
can't even read the words.

To make things worse,
the front cover is ripped out.

That book is me.

Sure.

But still, it's your book.

One that is most precious
and important to you.

What does a lady like you know?

Yeah, not much.

You're a good kid,

but don't call me lady, okay?

What the hell did your dad see

in a lady like her?

She's old and not pretty.

True.

Ms. Kim!

- You don't have to come out.
- Just a minute.

This month's tutoring fees.

It's not much, but I added some extra.

Because Ji-nam's grades have gone up.

Please take it.

You didn't have to...

I've been too busy to look after him,

so I'm grateful for your help.

My pleasure.

Will the study room be enough?

Don't you need to go to institutes

to get licenses and such?

Tell me if you need anything.
Don't feel burdened.

I'm okay.

What do you want to do in the future?

I want to open a small shop.

A shop?

You'll need to earn a lot.

Nothing too big.

As long as I can get by.

What a lame dream.

Why dream of just getting
by when you're still so young?

My grandmother said
that if you don't fail,

barely getting by is best.

You're funny sometimes.

You say the strangest
things, just like your dad.

It's burning, eat up.

Jong-uk! Get in.

This is my aunt.

Hello.

Hi.

My belly is really big now.

And the baby is kicking.

Sometimes when I'm
sleeping, it wakes me up.

Really?

Want to touch it?

Okay.

It's your first time going
to an OB-GYN clinic?

You should thank me
that you get to learn all this.

I've been to one.

Huh? When?

Did this happen to you, too?

When I was born.

Yeah, right.

The amniotic fluid looks
good. Everything's normal.

Wow, look at the fingers.

It's kicking, and stretching its arms.

It's very healthy.

You see the heart beating?

Is it that amazing?

Yeah.

Then come next time, too.

I'm bored to death here.

I only listen to classical music,

and can't eat whatever I want.

It's like I'm a baby myself.

What do you want to eat?

Beer.

I really want some
beer. And gas relief tonic.

I know, I'm pathetic.
I'll just have water.

Yeah, it's normal and healthy.

They won't tell us the gender yet.

I hope it's a girl.

Her friend's here.

- In her room.
- Can I have some water...

He doesn't look like the father.

Me?

She called me her aunt.

I don't think he knows.

All right, don't worry.

You should be careful

not to say stuff to other people.

Hey!

Jong-uk!

You think I enjoy this?

Do you know what I'm feeling?

How could you sell your baby?

Aren't you scared? How could you?

Then what should I do?

Just raise it? How?

On what income?

Or send it to an orphanage?
Will that solve things?

You think that never occurred to me?

This is a hundred times better.

You saw the baby's face.

You want to regret this all your life?

I won't regret it.

My god!

Who are you to lecture me?

You're not the father.

It's my baby, and my life.

You're not going to take
responsibility for me.

Jeez...

Hey.

What's wrong?

You made me into a bitch.

Am I bad?

Why am I bad?

I'm not bad...

I know, you're not bad.

I'm sorry. Get up.

What do we do now?

Thank you.

For saying "we."

What's this?

Are you crazy?

Don't worry. I'll take care of it.

I can't believe you!

What will happen to you now?

What?

What did I do wrong?

You're out of control.

You think you did something
to be praised for?

Who is it? Is it that girl from before?

Why didn't you tell me?

Why should I?

What should I say to you?

You always look at me suspiciously,

thinking I'm going to
get myself in trouble.

So what am I supposed to say to you?

Forget that for a second.

What will you do now?

I'm asking you!

It's my business, so butt out.

Your business?

I'm not going to ask you to raise it,

so don't worry.

What?

Is that how you speak to your elder?

Salty.

But good. It'll ferment well.

What's with you, making kimchi?

Since Mom's in the hospital,
I thought I'd make some.

Do you have any coffee?

Coffee? I've got only instant coffee.

You only drink drip coffee.

With money so tight,

I've stopped visiting the café.

You're a frugal housewife now.

No, a grandmother!

Hey, you're really fast.

How funny.

I'm cleaning diapers,

and you're already a grandma.

Congrats that you get to skip

all the hard parts of child-rearing.

Don't make fun of me. It's serious.

But he looks so innocent.

I never would've expected it.

Unbelievable.

Who's the mother?

I don't know.

I think it's her.

His friend who called me.

Then try talking to her.

Otherwise, how will you know?

Isn't she the party animal type?

Don't underestimate kids these days.

They rope in some innocent boy

and corrupt him.

That lady's obsessed
with organic foods.

At this rate, I'm going to
turn into an organic field.

Have you thought about it?

Jeez.

You know, she and her husband

are really good people.

But you're still hopeless.

So did you think about it?

I feel sorry for her.

She's got it hard.

What about the baby?

It'll be worse off

if we raise it.

We're not ready for that.

I've already announced
it. That I'll raise it.

I said I'm the father.

You're so stubborn!

I told that woman...

I mean your mother.

That you're not the dad.

What? Really?

She called, so I told her.

That it was an immaculate
conception, like Jesus.

Why did you do that?

What does it matter?

The one who raises it is the dad.

I'll take responsibility, too.

Do you call that woman "mom"?

- No.
- Then what do you call her?

Nothing, really.

I figured.

What?

She's feeding and raising you,
but you don't call her mom.

Why live together?

That's a different thing. I
didn't choose to live with her.

The grown-ups decided
it without asking me.

To be honest...

I wish I could ask my baby, too.

Who it wants to live with.

Why did you say that you're
the dad when you're not?

What does that matter?

Even if you were the dad,

you can't be its guardian now.

Does that mean you
just give the baby away?

Yeah...

Of course, in a moral sense,

you may be right.

But realistically,

you are exactly the ones

who shouldn't raise it.

Why are you living with me?

Well...

I realized it later.

To decide something
is to give something up.

And to accept giving that up.

Whatever you decide,

you have to give something up.

Why come here from the hospital?

There was no need to rush.

You should've waited for

Jeong-hui to pick you up.

What if you get sick again?

If you hadn't sold the car,

we could've used it now.

What do you eat these days?

I guess you do feed him something.

You've come on an inspection?

Sit down over there.

Okay.

Are you taking your medicine?

What?

Your thyroid.

How did you know?

I know everything.

I can tell from your eyes.

I am taking them.

If I take it every day, I'll be fine.

It's nothing serious.

Look at you,

if only you'd eaten
properly like I told you to.

If you'd listened to me,
you wouldn't be sick.

Hi.

Jong-uk, your grandma's here.

Jong-uk, come here!

I hardly ever see you.

Take this for pocket money.

Take it!

Is the traffic bad? Jeong-hui's late.

Goodness.

Hello.

You must be busy these days.

You haven't been coming to the café.

Yes... a bit.

I'm going on a trip next week.

Sorry?

So please don't feel awkward

and come by for some coffee.

It wasn't because of you.

Then why?

Because I have no money.

What?

It's hot. Careful...

Why a cake?

He loved chocolate cake.

My dad?

Funny, huh? He loved it like a kid.

I didn't know what to prepare,

so I picked the things he likes.

There's nothing I
cook particularly well.

What about this?

It just reminded me of the past.

I got pregnant, though
I had a miscarriage.

After I left the hospital,

he bought me this
soup so I can recover.

Is everything ready?

Yeah.

Should we light a candle?

It's my first time to do this
on his death anniversary.

I had been avoiding it
on purpose all this time.

I was afraid to admit
he had really left.

I didn't cry at the
funeral. No tears came.

Everyone whispered about me.

But you didn't cry either.

Of course it was
because you were young.

But it made me feel better.

Why didn't you cry?

You know,

even now, I don't cry
when I think of him.

Because I'm sorry.

If I cry, he'll feel bad.

That was easy.

From now on let's do
this on his anniversary,

the two of us.

I got my citizens' ID.

Show me.

No, it's mine.

Such a kid. I already got mine.

Did you see the baby?

Yeah.

But he was really ugly, just like you.

Are you actually curious?

Just wanted to make sure
you didn't steal the baby.

I was going to, but I didn't,

'cause he was so ugly.

Is he that ugly?

I'm joking, I haven't seen him yet.

Are you really

not going to see him?

No.

I'm not.

I can't.

Still, you're his mom.

You may never see him. Is that okay?

It's okay.

I gave him the gift of a good family.

He's yawning. So cute.

I'll take that.

- No, it's okay.
- No, let me.

Please.

Have you eaten?

Not yet.

I'll grill you some meat.
Let's eat together.

How is school?

Have you been well?

It's been hard for you, right?

Let me hold my son...

...my son just once.

You've grown so big.

You were so small.

You're so big now.

Jong-uk.

I'm so...

I'm so sorry.

I'm sorry.

So sorry.

MOTHERS

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY LEE DONG-EUN

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