“I Met Loh Kiwan” serves as the inspiration for the film, depicting the journey of a North Korean defector who finds refuge and hope in Belgium. Loh Kiwan, a young defector portrayed by Song Joong-ki, embarks on a perilous journey to Belgium in pursuit of a chance at life. Amidst harsh circumstances and uncertain prospects determined by the Belgian government, he crosses paths with Marie, a heroin addict seeking solace from her troubled existence.

At its core, the film explores the theme of survival amidst insurmountable challenges. Throughout the narrative, Joong-ki’s portrayal of Kiwan is marked by a rugged, scarred appearance, reflecting the hardships he endures. Through poignant music and thoughtful camera angles, the audience is drawn into Kiwan’s plight, evoking empathy for his struggles. Notably, the film adopts a voyeuristic perspective, inviting viewers to observe without vilifying any particular nation or government.


“Into the Unknown: The Journey of Loh Kiwan,” crafted by director Kin Hee-jin, offers a stark portrayal of life’s harsh realities, particularly for those ensnared by the confines of borders and restrictions. Through gritty sequences depicting individuals scraping by on the bare essentials and subsisting on scraps, the director achieves a raw and authentic depiction.

In his portrayal of Kiwan, Song Joong-ki sheds his trademark swagger to fully embody the character, delving deep into themes of vulnerability, desperation for survival, and fleeting moments of anguish and fury. While the relationship between Kiwan and Marie (Choi Sung-eun) is devoid of traditional romance, their narrative ultimately evolves into a tale of resilience, with love simmering beneath the surface as a subtle yet profound force.

The film remains unflinchingly honest, refusing to gloss over the challenges faced by its characters, which contributes to its overall success. Kiwan’s encounters in Belgium and the meticulously paced storytelling effectively immerse the audience in his plight, although some viewers may find the film’s somber tone and deliberate pacing to be somewhat taxing.

While the cinematography occasionally leans towards a dreary aesthetic, particularly in moments of intimacy and violence where clarity is sacrificed for mood, there are instances of breathtaking close-ups and meticulously crafted visuals, including stunning drone footage of Brussels.

Overall, “Into the Unknown: The Journey of Loh Kiwan” earns a solid three-star rating, offering a compelling and unvarnished exploration of survival against the odds.

Ratings: 3/5

The lack of any ostentatious stunts is a benefit for audiences who appreciate this genre. It might not be for everyone, but “My Name is Loh Kiwan,” a superb film with excellent acting, is available on Netflix. Three stars are awarded to this film out of five.

Written By : Indori Nerd

Similar Post