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The Way Home (2002)

Jibeuro (original title)
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Seven-year-old Sang-woo is left with his grandmother in a remote village while his mother looks for work. Born and raised in the city, Sang-woo quickly comes into conflict with his ... See full summary »



8 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Eul-boon Kim ...
Sang-woo (as Seung Ho Yoo)
Hyo-hee Dong ...
Sang-woo's Mother
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kyung-hyun Min ...
Eun-kyung Yim ...
Hae Yeon


Seven-year-old Sang-woo is left with his grandmother in a remote village while his mother looks for work. Born and raised in the city, Sang-woo quickly comes into conflict with his old-fashioned grandmother and his new rural surroundings. Disrespectful and selfish, Sang-woo lashes out in anger, perceiving that he has been abandoned. He trades his grandmother's only treasure for a video game; he throws his food and he throws tantrums. When Sang-woo's mother finds work and finally returns for him, Sang-woo has become a different boy. Through his grandmother's boundless patience and devotion, he learns to embrace empathy, humility and the importance of family. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Discover the magical movie that has captured the heart of a nation.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

5 April 2002 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Camino a casa  »

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$103,498 (Hong Kong) (20 September 2002)


$444,931 (USA) (2 May 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| |

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the time of casting, Kim Eul-boon (Grandmother) had not only never acted before, but never even seen a film before. See more »


Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

She's not our standard grandma! She's incredible!
24 June 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Some of the reviews I read about "The Way Home" were disappointing. The critics dwell on the screenplay appearing too forceful, therefore unconvincing: how can the grandmother stand this obnoxiously rude kid? How can it be possible a kid is this obnoxious? Why would she keeps on taking care of him and loving him?

I think we've all judged Grandma by our own standards, but didn't try to stop and think that perhaps this is how she is. She lives a simple life, never complaint, never thought of change, never thought of improving her life style. She just simply accepts everything that's given and deal with it the way she knows how. Ask any one of us. Would we want to walk miles to retrieve buckets of water everyday up in the mountains? Would we want to have a hole to use as our bathrooms? We would stop and complain, become angry at whatever is doing this unfairness to us. To Grandma, this is her life and is all she knows. She accepts whatever life has given her and goes on day by day.

The film has shown her inability of complex thoughts. She attempts to play with the wood blocks, but unable to put the different shapes through the matching shaped holes. She has no concept of shapes, but that doesn't describe her as unintelligent, it rather suggests a untrained/simple mind. Unable to work the blocks, she simply tilts her head and walks away with no complaint or anger, which I don't think I can take the defeat so well. Whatever happens, good or bad, but life goes on. Grandson knocks over the rice bowl in anger, but Grandma immediately bends over and scooped the rice back in the bowl. Rice falls, needs to pick it up and eat it. Grandson rollerbladed around the room, dirties the floor. There is dirt, needs to wipe it off. As simple as that.

I deeply admire the grandmother character. I know I can never be like her. I am a selfish and demanding person that easily complain about a lot of little things, just like the grandson though not as annoying (I hope). It is HER alone that made this movie incredibly and realistically moving.

45 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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