After a car accident, Jaegi (Jo Min-sang) finds himself paralyzed and unable to walk. Given his difficult economic circumstances, he needs to find a job – but this will only be possible with government support, which requires a physical evaluation. After his exam he is shocked to receive a grade 5 rating, usually given to those with only minor disabilities. Disqualified from the support he desperately needs, he embarks on a quest through various bureaucracies to get his rating overturned.
Awoke has its roots in a filmmaking workshop given on Jeju Island for disabled residents. One of the participants, Jung Jae-ik, decided to write a script based partly on his own experiences and other incidents he had heard about in the disabled community. Jung would ultimately go on to co-direct the resulting feature. Eye-opening in many ways, Awoke is well told, expertly acted and has a surprisingly sharp edge.