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New K-Drama ‘Move to Heaven’ Puts the Spotlight on Trauma Cleaners

The series premieres on Netflix tomorrow!

On Friday, May 14, a new Netflix original K-drama will be capturing our hearts and making us reflect on our lives. Move to Heaven will finally be released after two years of production and shooting, and a postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The series stars Lee Je-hoon (Signal, Tomorrow with You), Tang Jung-sang (Crash Landing on You), and Hong Seung-hee (Navillera). It is directed by Kim Sung-ho, who says the series is inspired by the essay, Things Left Behind written by Kim Sae-byul — a former trauma cleaner.  (Read: 4 Netflix Shows That Will Inspire You to Live Your Best Life)

“I was actually unaware of the occupation of trauma cleaners, and when I read about them, I was really moved to direct the series,” Director Kim said in an exclusive press event attended by My Pope Philippines.

He says that reading the essay, and eventually about the occupation itself, he felt motivated to do it, despite him only previously working on movies.

What Are Trauma Cleaners?

Photo from Netflix Asia YouTube

In the simplest way possible, a trauma cleaner is one who literally cleans up a crime scene or any place where a dead body has been found. (Read: 5 Mystery Series to Watch if You Liked ‘The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel’)

“Trauma cleaners tidy the place left by the deceased and give them to the family of the bereaved,” Jung-sang shared. “Not only do they come face to face with the physical objects, but also the stories. And they bring closure for the families,” he added.

In Move to Heaven, the lead characters, Sang-gu (Je-hoon) and Geu-ru (Jung-sang), work as trauma cleaners. They not only deal with the clean-up, but also the emotions and stories that the tangible objects contain and leave behind for the family.

Making an Impact

Photo from Netflix

Through the series, the actors and the director hope to make an impact and trigger realizations among its viewers. (Read: How does one cope with loss and grief while in isolation?)

“In the modern society, it is very dry when someone passes away— no one is able to clean after them, especially in the cities. I wanted to tell these issues on screen so we could think about how we could be better neighbors to each other,” Director Kim says.

“The stories that we wish to convey through the series, they might be very familiar to you because the stories are about everyday life,” Seung-hee says.

“I really hope you can all relate to the stories and this can provide you the opportunity to become better people in society and to the people around you,” she adds.

‘No Occupation Is Without Troubles’

Photo from Netflix

For Jung-sang, he wants this series to be an eye-opener to the audience about trauma cleaners. (Read: 2 Powerful Prayers for a Job Breakthrough)

“No occupation is without troubles. But learning about this occupation opened my eyes to so much [and] I wanted to make this series a chance to introduce this occupation to the world,” he says.

As for their take away from the entire series? “I hope that viewers will also see and realize that disconnection and lack of communication within our society today shouldn’t be overlooked, and that we should be more connected to our neighbors,” Je-hoon answers.

Move to Heaven will be premiere on Netflix on May 14, Thursday, at 4 pm. The series will have 10 episodes in total, according to the director.

Watch the Netflix teaser for Move to Heaven below:

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