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Trauma cleaning takes center stage in ‘Move to Heaven’

Thanks to the new Netflix Original Series "Move to Heaven", I now know that some people make a living through trauma cleaning. Image credit: Netflix
Image credit: Netflix

Thanks to the new Netflix Original Series “Move to Heaven“, I now know that some people make a living through trauma cleaning.

“A business called trauma cleaners or sometimes deceased estate cleaners. There are people who look after the left estate of the deceased and those that are involved in this business, they come face to face with the untold stories of those who left us,” said series director Kim Sung Ho at the “Move to Heaven” Asia Pacific press conference held by Netflix Korea.

Trauma cleaning and closure

The Korean drama series is based on the nonfiction essay “Things Left Behind” written by Kim Sae Byul, who is also one of the first trauma cleaners in South Korea.

By cleaning the home of the deceased and organizing their belongings, trauma cleaners end up delivering any unsaid messages from the deceased to those they have left behind. “Move to Heaven” revolves around a young man with Asperger’s, Han Geu Ru (Tang Jun Sang), and his ex-con uncle, Cho Sang Gu (Lee Je Hoon), who work as trauma cleaners. The series aims to show how trauma cleaning helps people experience proper closure.

“Crash Landing on You” fans will recognize Jun Sang as the actor who played the youngest North Korean soldier in that K-drama series. “Move to Heaven” also stars Hong Seung He, who played the granddaughter in “Navillera“, as Geu Ru’s best friend and neighbor.

According to Director Kim, of all the characters, it is Sang Gu who is hiding the most secrets, which will be uncovered as the series unfolds.

Je Hoon said that he really immersed himself into Sang Gu in order to portray him as an intimidating character.

“Sang Gu is currently an illegal MMA fighter and he was actually a former boxer. That’s how he makes ends meet. And he’s not afraid to really have his body take a toll to make money,” Je Hoon said.

Feel-good bromance

Apart from the heartfelt stories of the deceased, “Move to Heaven” viewers can also look forward to the feel-good bromance between Geu Ru and Sang Gu.

At first, Sang Gu experiences difficulty adjusting to his nephew who is on the autism spectrum, while Geu Ru finds his ex-con uncle too disorderly and rough around the edges. However, the two trauma cleaners learn to adapt to each other and begin to care deeply for each other.

In fact, Je Hoon and Jun Sang shared that while they were portraying uncle and nephew in the series, they’re more like brothers in real life.

Want to know more about trauma cleaning? Watch “Move to Heaven” on Netflix.

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