What is 'trauma cleaner?'

·2 min read

New K-Drama sheds light on uncanny occupation

Korean drama takes it up a notch with the latest Netflix Original Series “Move to Heaven” now available for streaming.

While romance is a common theme most K-Drama fans prefer, “Move to Heaven” presents something almost otherworldly: a drama that digs deeper into the questions surrounding the subjects of life, death and grief.

The series follows the story of two men who find jobs as “trauma cleaners.” Technically, trauma cleaners are those involved in cleaning up a crime scene. But in this series, these trauma cleaners are “people who clean up and look after the estate of the deceased,” shared director Kim Sung Ho during an online press conference with members of the Asia-Pacific media.

Actor Tang Jun-sang (“Crash Landing on You”) plays Geu-ru, a young man with Asperger’s syndrome. Geu-ru and his guardian Sang-gu, played by Lee Je-hoon (“Signal”), are tasked with clearing out the last possessions of the deceased. In doing so, both men uncover stories that are left behind, and help the “final move” of those who have died, and deliver their messages to loved ones left behind.

The series is based on a nonfiction essay by Kim Sae-byul entitled “Things Left Behind.” The author is one of the pioneering trauma cleaners in Korea.

“Watching content these days has a lot to do with escapism. But I think a better experience is to look around our reality rather than escape it,” shared the director Kim in Korean, reflecting how “Move to Heaven” provides audiences with a fresh take on Korean drama.

“Due to the pandemic, all of us are going through difficult times. But if we all look around, we can all be better citizens; all be better neighbors.”

“Move to Heaven” is now available only on Netflix.

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