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The Bow (2005) More at IMDbPro »Hwal (original title)


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7.2/10   7,681 votes »
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Release Date:
12 May 2005 (South Korea) See more »
A girl who thought the sea was the whole world became the whole world to one old man.
On a fishing boat at sea, a 60-year old man has been raising a girl since she was a baby. It is agreed that they will get married on her 17th birthday, and she is 16 now. They live a quiet and secluded life, renting the boat to day fishermen and practicing strange divination rites. Their life changes when a teenage student comes aboard... Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
Hwal (The Bow)
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 9 June 2005)

User Reviews:
Beautiful, symbolic and emotional... See more (33 total) »


  (in credits order)
Yeo-reum Han ... The young girl (as Han Yeo-reum)
Si-jeok Seo ... The student
Gook-hwan Jeon ... The student's father
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seong-hwang Jeon ... Old Man (no name)
Seok-hyeon Jo ... Third Man

Directed by
Ki-duk Kim 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ki-duk Kim 

Produced by
Yong-gyu Kang .... co-producer
Ki-duk Kim .... producer
Michiko Suzuki .... executive producer
Original Music by
Eun-il Kang 
Cinematography by
Seong-back Jang 
Film Editing by
Ki-duk Kim 
Production Design by
Sol Art Chung 
Costume Design by
Kyung-mi Kim 
Makeup Department
Ki-sun Kim .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Seok-bin Jang .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hun Jang .... assistant director
Sound Department
Hyun-soo Jeung .... sound
Music Department
Eun-il Kang .... composer: additional music
Transportation Department
Joyce Kirkconnell .... driver

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Hwal" - South Korea (original title)
See more »
France:90 min | Canada:88 min (Montréal Film Festival) | Argentina:90 min (Mar del Plata Film Festival)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:


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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Beautiful, symbolic and emotional..., 19 May 2012
Author: Paul Magne Haakonsen from Denmark

With this epic movie, Ki-duk Kim really puts out another great story in "The Bow", and I was really surprised at the beauty of this movie.

Taking place on an old, rundown fishing boat, "The Bow" tells the story of an old man (played by Seong-hwang Jeon) who have raised a young girl (played by Yeo-reum Han) for 10 years on the boat, isolated from the outside world, with the only contact with other people is by the ones coming to the boat for fishing and having their fortune read. The old man plans to marry the girl when she becomes of age, but an unexpected spark between the girl and a visiting young man (played by Si-jeok Seo) to the boat sets things spiraling out the old man's control.

Something amazing about "The Bow" was the way that the story takes you through a myriad of emotions, ranging from admiration, curiosity and then on to spite and contempt. And the story was told (and shot) in a way that the emotions of both the old man and young girl were strong and ever-present.

Shot almost without any dialogue, the story was relying heavily on the acting performances of the cast and the ability to tell a story by the director. And wow, it just came together like pieces in a puzzle. Everything was so amazing and worked out quite nicely. The actors did great jobs with their roles, both the speaking and non-speaking roles. But most impressively was Seong-hwang Jeon (the old man) and Yeo-reum Han (the young girl) in their roles. Wow, the chemistry between them on the screen was amazing, and the way they portrayed their characters made it like you were right there on the boat with them.

"The Bow" was really a treat for the eyes to sit down and watch, because the cinematography was so beautiful. The movie is really nicely shot, with lots of great shots, and that was really a necessary ingredient for the movie, being able to portray and tell a story when there wasn't all that much dialogue going on.

I found the movie to be a really great surprise, and I loved how it swept me up and put me right there in the story. It was so compelling and beautiful. And if you are a fan of Asian cinema, then surely you are familiar with Ki-duk Kim's work already. But if not, then "The Bow" is well worth putting into your DVD player and sit down to watch. It is the type of story that will stay with you for a long time.

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