Juvenile Offender ( (범죄소년; RR: Beomjoe Sonyeon; lit. "Crime Boys") is a 2012 South Korean film about a teenage criminal who reunites with his mother who gave him up at birth.
It won the Special Jury Prize at the 25th Tokyo International Film Festival, and Best Actor for Seo Young-joo. It was also awarded the Lino Brocka Grand Prize and Best Actor at the 14th Cinemanila International Film Festival.
The film has been selected as the South Korean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards.
Ji-gu is a 16-year-old juvenile offender under probation who lives with his only known relative - his grandfather who is sick in bed all the time with severe diabetic complications. To Ji-gu, home is only a place that stinks with sickness and school, a place to hang out. His only interest in life is his sweet new girlfriend Sae-rom. One day, he gets caught after committing burglary with the neighborhood big boys. And without a parent to plead for him, the judge sentences Ji-gu to the juvenile reformatory while others get lighter penalties.
11 months later, Ji-gu is informed that his grandfather has passed away. After the funeral, his teacher tracks down Ji-gu’s mom, whom Ji-gu thought was dead but in fact had ran away from home after giving birth to Ji-gu at age 17. Ji-gu is simply shocked to realize that he has a mother. But after he gets discharged from the juvenile reformatory, he and his young mother try to make up for their time lost. Ji-gu starts off living together with his mother with high expectations, but he soon realizes that his mother is much too young just like himself and he comes to understand why she had to leave him right after giving birth. But when Ji-gu falls into a similar situation with his girlfriend, his mother whom he thought would understand is appalled at the news which creates a conflict between the two.