The Drop Box (2014)

The Drop Box

They’re not the unnecessary ones in the world. God sent them here for a purpose.
~ Pastor Lee Jong-rak ~

The Drop Box (2014) is an engaging documentary about a pastor in Korea who takes in abandoned children. Sadly, the situation in this movie is not uncommon, that of women and families abandoning children they don’t believe they can care for (or that they don’t want to care for). Fortunately, this man, along with many others around the world, are reaching out in a unique way to love and care for the abandoned children in their societies: the baby box. A warm box where the baby can be put, protected from the elements, that sounds an alarm for the people in charge letting them know a new child has been abandoned is waiting.

We are introduced to Pastor Lee Jong-rak, and we are taken on a tour of his life, of what has led him to embracing his community’s most vulnerable population. It’s a beautiful, tragic, hope-filled story that is very well told. There is much of what you might expect from a Focus-On-The-Family production: sentimentality, expressions of faith, etc….. This movie holds many surprises though. One such surprise, and possibly the movie’s greatest strength, is the non-judgemental way that both sides to this situation are given a voice. I was surprised to learn that not everyone thinks these baby boxes are good ideas. There is a sense that these violate a child’s right to be known and cared for by their mother/parent. This is an interesting argument, but one that leaves a rather unsettling taste in my mouth. However, this and other arguments against the baby boxes are presented alongside that of this pastor and others like him who believe in the value of human life, to the point that they will sacrifice themselves in many ways to provide whatever they can for these children.

If there is one thing that I didn’t care for about this documentary, it’s the several times that I was acutely aware of being manipulated by the director. Yes, this is a story that tugs at the heart strings naturally, as such, I felt there was no need to fabricate moments. This though, is simply my opinion. I do highly recommend this movie. If documentaries are you cup-of-tea, then take the time to visit Pastor Lee Jong-rak and his motley, lovely, enigmatic “family”.

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