6 user 13 critic

Poong-san-gae (2011)

Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Romance | 23 June 2011 (South Korea)
A young man crosses over North and South Korea to deliver the pain and longings of separated families.


Jai-hong Juhn


Ki-duk Kim

Watch Now

From $14.99 (SD) on Prime Video

1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Wang-ui namja (2005)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two clowns living in Korea's Chosun Dynasty get arrested for staging a play that satirizes the king. They are dragged to the palace and threatened with execution but are given a chance to save their lives if they can make the king laugh.

Director: Joon-ik Lee
Stars: Woo-seong Kam, Jin-young Jung, Seong-Yeon Kang
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Soldiers from both sides of the Korean divide live among villagers who know nothing of the war.

Director: Kwang-Hyun Park
Stars: Jae-yeong Jeong, Ha-kyun Shin, Hye-jeong Kang
Two Came Back (TV Movie 1997)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A group of friends get stranded on a boat.

Director: Dick Lowry
Stars: Melissa Joan Hart, Jonathan Brandis, David Gail
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

1942, The Nederlands(ch)-Indië Government in Java Island captured Soekarno, an aspiring young man who wants to free Indonesia from colonialism. He was then put in Banceuy Prison at Bandung,... See full summary »

Director: Hanung Bramantyo
Stars: Ario Bayu, Muhammad Abbe, Moch. Achir
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Lee Du-seok publishes an autobiography describing murders he committed after the statute of limitations expires. A detective and one of the victim's mothers search for the author while another killer begins a spree of murders.

Director: Byung-gil Jung
Stars: Jae-yeong Jeong, Shi-hoo Park, Hae-Kyun Jung
A-leum-dab-da (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Eun-young is a woman cursed with great beauty. Wherever she goes, she gets unwanted admiration from men and jealousy from women. One day, one of her stalking admirer invades her place.

Director: Jai-hong Juhn
Stars: Su-yeon Cha, Cheon-hee Lee, Moo-Seong Choi
Peurizeun (2017)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A troubled ex-cop is imprisoned for a hit-and-run accident. He discovers that the entire penitentiary is controlled by an inmate who has been running a crime syndicate with the help of the warden and guards which provides them 100% alibi.

Director: Hyeon Na
Stars: Rae-won Kim, Suk-kyu Han, Kyeong-yeong Lee
Steel Rain (2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A coup in North Korea forces an agent to defect to South with unconscious "Number One". While operatives from North hunt for both of them, the agent has to work with South Koreans to stop the nuclear war.

Director: Woo-seok Yang
Stars: Woo-sung Jung, Do-won Kwak, Eui-sung Kim
Beomjoidosi (2017)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Based on real events, this crime action film depicts a Seoul detective's attempts to keep peace while two Chinese-Korean gangs battle over turf in the neighborhood.

Director: Yoon-Seong Kang
Stars: Jin-ah Bae, Gwi-hwa Choi, Ki-Joon Hong
Gangnam 1970 (2015)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Jong-Dae and Yong-Ki make a living by picking up paper and empty bottles. Both then join different gangster clan and becomes involved in a struggle of political interests over development in Gangnam, Seoul.

Director: Ha Yoo
Stars: Min-Ho Lee, Rae-won Kim, Jin-young Jung
Amen III (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A journey of a Korean girl who wanders around Europe to find her boyfriend.

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Hye-na Kim, Ki-duk Kim
Botongsaram (2017)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An up-righteous police officer with a wife and son gets involved with a conspiracy after he arrested a murderer by chance. His weakness was his son needed an operation to treat his legs. Which path to choose? Righteousness or conspiracy?

Director: Kim Bong-han
Stars: Yoon-So Choi, Hee Sun Chung, Hyuk Jang


Credited cast:
Kye-Sang Yoon Kye-Sang Yoon ... Poongsan (as Kye Sang Yoon)
Jong-soo Kim Jong-soo Kim ... North Korea defect executive
Han Gi-Joong Han Gi-Joong ... Section chief
Moo-Seong Choi Moo-Seong Choi ... Team leader
Ha-bok Yu Ha-bok Yu ... North Korea executive
Yong-geun Bae ... Wolf
Jeong-seok Kim Jeong-seok Kim ... Hit team 1
Jae-ryong Cho Jae-ryong Cho ... Hit team 2 (as Jo Jae-Ryong)
Nak-jun Lee Nak-jun Lee ... Hit team 3
Yeong-Hoon Kim Yeong-Hoon Kim ... Hit team 4
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gyu-ri Kim ... In-ok


Poongsan has the unenviable - and death-defying - job of delivering messages across the North and South Korean border to separated families. When South Korean government agents ask him to smuggle in In-ok, the lover of a high-ranking North Korean defector, into the South, the damsel and rescuer fall in love instead. Written by Stanislav S, Sochi, Russia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The one with no fear and no borders


Action | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »



South Korea



Release Date:

23 June 2011 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Poongsan See more »

Filming Locations:

Seoul, South Korea

Company Credits

Production Co:

Kim Ki-Duk Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Featured in Bulg-eun gajog (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Non-stereotypical Feature, which explores Love and Hate and the Boundaries that Separate Both
7 April 2015 | by totalovrdoseSee all my reviews

Although Poongsan possesses thematic elements of romance, drama and humor, it is none of these. Poongsan is one of those rare films that some viewers may potentially want to avoid, for it tragically reveals the horrors that exist in the world around us. Though other films provide viewers with entertainment, Poongsan drags us into a bloody world of poignant realism and painful drama, where men and women are brutally tortured, for no other reason than because they happen to reside on the opposite side of a fence separating their countries. It's a film, where North Korean 'traitors' are force fed expensive items, where South Koreans execute spies without remorse, and where love is so easily devoured by the all consuming hatred that surrounds opposing nations.

Although obviously produced on a budget, everything in the feature is brilliantly used to great effect. Many of the film's settings are either only partially seen, or filmed under the cover of night, accentuating the haunting darkness of the film. However, this doesn't take away from the barren wasteland that depicts North Korea, or the South's contrast: a westernized utopia, corrupting all with its influential privileges.

An unnamed stranger, identified only by the Poongsan cigarettes he smokes, travels covertly between the borders of North and South Korea. He takes messages of love from the South, to their families in the North, and occasionally returns with messages, items, and sometimes, people. Yoon Kye-Sang is perfect in this role. He never speaks, but superbly conveys his emotions through facial gesture, one of the film's most powerful scenes conveying the moment he reveals his heart.

Though set in chronological order, the film quickly skips forward: one moment, characters are naked, swimming in a river, next second, they're fully clothed and on land. This deliberate strategy, utilized so the film can urgently tell its story, potentially provides reason as to how the stranger can be horrifically injured one moment, and yet athletically capable the next. Fight scenes, despite being well choreographed, are not only few in number and short-lived, but occasionally unrealistic: vaulting over a fence is just one example where the audience's disbelief is in need of temporary suspension, and the way Northerners, and those from the South, are able to slip across the border with ease, potentially demonstrates a flaw in the system.

When a South Korean section chief (Han Ki-Joong) finds evidence that corroborates the existence of the unidentified stranger, he and his team track him down for a job. A defector from the North (Kim Jong-Soo) desperately wishes to see his wife, In-OK (Kim Gyu-Ri), who still resides on the other side of the border, in exchange to provide further information to the South. Once reunited with her husband, In-OK, who experiences difficulty acclimatising to the environment, discovers her husband is a changed man. Greedy, arrogant, jealous and violent, In-OK's heart quickly changes allegiances, instead belonging to the man who extracted her.

Occasional poetic language is supported not only by the visuals, which are capable of articulating metaphoric symbolism, but by the soundtrack, which encapsulates the emotions experienced in its accompanying moments. One particular vocal serenade, produced over the body of a deceased lover, is especially effective. With all the pain the film articulates, it's difficult to imagine how humor could be used, often articulating the ridiculousness of the confrontation the South and the North are caught between, while discussing how people on one side of the border die of starvation, while those on the opposing side grow fat on money and resources. In one instance, a South Korean spy, who proclaims his love for the North, is asked by his Northern torturer why he loves the country, because not even the torturer is capable of doing so.

Over the course of the feature I personally didn't cry, however, during the credits, everything the film had explored inexplicably hit me at once, and I found myself unable to stem the tears as I wondered 'what's the point?' I don't give Poongsan a 10 with ease, for it's a film that is seldom entertaining, and even during moments of beauty, these are marred by decadence. However, this feature does what so few fail to do these days: it tells the truth.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Recently Viewed