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The Drop Box is a 2014 documentary directed by Brian Ivie about pastor Lee Jong Rak and his work with abandoned children in South Korea.[1] The film was first screened on April 5, 2014 at the John Paul II International Film Festival. The Drop Box was officially released to the general public on March 3, 2015. The Drop Box was produced by Arbella Studios and Pine Creek Entertainment, and distributed by Focus on the Family (2015), Kindred Image (2015), and Anarchy Post.[2] The film had a cumulative worldwide gross of $3,300,000.[2][3] Since the establishment of the drop box outside the Jusarang Community Church, hundreds of abandoned children have been received and adopted in Seoul, South Korea. [2]

The Drop Box
Directed byBrian Ivie
Produced by
  • Arbella Studios
  • Pine Creek Entertainment
Written byBrian Ivie
StarringLee Jong Rak
Cinematography
  • Eitan Almagor
  • David Bolen
  • Shayan Ebrahim
  • Mitchell McDuff
Distributed by
  • Focus on the Family
  • Kindred Image
Release date
April 5, 2014 (John Paul II International Film Festival) March 3, 2015
Running time
79 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$3,300,000

SynopsisEdit

Every year, hundreds of babies are abandoned in Seoul, South Korea.[4] Pastor Lee Jong Rak and his wife, Chun-ja, created the first "drop box" for abandoned children in South Korea outside the Jusarang ("God's Love") Community Church.[5] The drop box was modeled off the baby hatch, or baby box. This is a sanctuary for babies who are abandoned by their mothers due to difficult circumstances.[4] Available at all hours, the drop box is equipped with a motion sensor, heat, and light, and is programmed to notify the pastor when a baby is placed inside.[4] The sign placed outside the baby box roughly translates to "place to leave babies." [6] While the documentary was filmed, Pastor Lee and Chun-ja were legal guardians of 19 children, two of them biological.[5] Since the establishment of the drop box in 2009, over 600 abandoned children have been received in the drop box and placed in safe, loving homes.[6]

The documentary raises awareness about the difficulty of addressing the child abandonment issue in South Korea because of the unfortunate circumstances that often force parents to feel helpless and feel they have no other option but to abandon their children.[7] Several reasons for abandonment that were mentioned in The Drop Box include family pressure, lack of governmental assistance, financial issues, and social stigma against young, single mothers.[7] It is also seen that many of the children that are under their care at the Jusarang Community Church have mental and physical disabilities.[7] Even today, disabled or handicapped people face prejudice and social stigma, and parents often feel they are not able to adequately care for children with special needs.[8] Pastor Lee's dedication for his children and his church are seen in The Drop Box, and his efforts were received by the public. After the release of The Drop Box, donations to the Jusarang Community Church and adoption agencies in South Korea allowed Pastor Lee and the children under his care to relocate to a much needed larger space.[9] The former Jusarang Community Church was converted into a maternity shelter for mothers in crisis.[9]

ProductionEdit

In 2011, writer and director of the documentary, Brian Ivie, contacted pastor Lee Jong Rak. Brian Ivie had heard about Pastor Lee's work from the Los Angeles Times article "South Korean pastor tends to an unwanted flock." [10]After six months of correspondence and preparation, Brian Ivie and a production team at Arbella Studios began to film. The production of The Drop Box took two years. [10]

ThemesEdit

Sacrifice, hope, guilt, courage, and unconditional love are themes that resound through the documentary. The Drop Box takes a pro-life, or anti-abortion, stance, although its content does not explicitly mention pro-life or abortion topics. Rather, it emphasizes this stance by emphasizing the value of every child's life that Pastor Lee receives in the drop box.[11]

ReceptionEdit

The Drop Box was released on March 3, 2015 in a limited theatrical release and garnered close to a quarter million views and public interest. The Drop Box was played in over 700 theaters in the United States.[12] Many viewers of this documentary were inspired to contact Kindred Image, which is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to ending child abandonment and creating a culture that celebrates life in South Korea.[13] Kindred Image focuses its efforts on long-term solutions. Some projects that have been undertaken include care packages, counseling, and adoption support. [12] Kindred Image also provides expecting mothers with necessary resources for healthy and successful pre- and post-pregnancy.[14] Through the efforts of this organization, over 1.4 million dollars have been raised for Korean orphans and foster care in America.[13] The organization hopes to address the issue of child abandonment.[14]

Public Health impactEdit

Every year, hundreds of infants are abandoned in the Seoul, South Korea.[15] Pastor Lee's drop box provides a safe location for children to be placed if parents feel they are unable to care for their child, and wish to give them the opportunity to be adopted.[15] Pastor Lee's work also raises awareness of South Korea's Special Adoption Law, which if revised and addressed, could alleviate the child abandonment crisis.[16] The director, Brian Ivie, was critical in the creation of Kindred Image, a nonprofit organization that addresses child abandonment issues with holistic solutions. Part of the proceeds from The Drop Box are received by Lee Jong Rak and his ministry to support his children.[17]

Paul Boge, Winnipeg Film Director and director of Reel to Reel Film Festival, says that, "we all lead busy lives and it is not possible for us to do research on every social issue. Documentaries like these give us a chance to understand issues that impact us and the world around us so we can be better informed about our responsibility in responding to these issues." [17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The Drop Box, retrieved October 12, 2018
  2. ^ a b c "The Drop Box Film". dropbox.focusonthefamily.ca. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  3. ^ "Focus on the Family Canada". Focus on the Family. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "The Drop Box Film". dropbox.focusonthefamily.ca. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "'The Drop Box' Documentary - American Life League". American Life League. October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Drop Box film chronicles pastor's quest to save unwanted babies - ChristianWeek". ChristianWeek. February 6, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Herald, The Gospel (February 11, 2015). "The Drop Box Film Review: South Korean Pastor's Mission to Save Abandoned Babies Will Leave Viewers Inspired". Breaking Christian News: World, Business, and More | The Gospel Herald. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  8. ^ writer, Lauren Pak, lifestyles staff. "'The Drop Box' raises awareness of global issues". Collegiate Times. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "'The Drop Box' Documentary - American Life League". American Life League. October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  10. ^ a b 100huntley (March 2, 2015), Unwanted Babies Change a Life - Award-winning Director of “The Drop Box” Brian Ivie, retrieved October 12, 2018
  11. ^ "'The Drop Box' Documentary - American Life League". American Life League. October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  12. ^ a b writer, Lauren Pak, lifestyles staff. "'The Drop Box' raises awareness of global issues". Collegiate Times. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "'The Drop Box' Documentary - American Life League". American Life League. October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Mitchell, Leah. "About Us | Kindred Image". Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "The Drop Box Film". dropbox.focusonthefamily.ca. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  16. ^ Herald, The Gospel (February 11, 2015). "The Drop Box Film Review: South Korean Pastor's Mission to Save Abandoned Babies Will Leave Viewers Inspired". Breaking Christian News: World, Business, and More | The Gospel Herald. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Drop Box film chronicles pastor's quest to save unwanted babies - ChristianWeek". ChristianWeek. February 6, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2018.

External linksEdit