Amid the chaos of refugees fleeing the Korean War in December 1950, a young boy, Duk-soo, sees his fate change in the blink of an eye when he loses track of his younger sister and he leaves his father behind to find her. Settling in Busan, Duk-soo devotes himself to his remaining family, working all manner of odd jobs to support them in place of his father. His dedication leads him first to the deadly coal mines of Germany, where he meets his first love, Youngja, and then to war-torn Vietnam in this generational epic about one man's personal sacrifices.Written by
It was also screened in the Panorama section of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2015, and among the audience were 20 ethnic Korean first-generation immigrants whose experiences were portrayed in the film. See more »
A brief shot of aeroplane landing in Seoul showed Japan Airlines A340-300. This four-engined aeroplane wasn't launched until 1991 and entered into the commercial service in 1993. Japan Air Lines livery would have red and blue cheat lines which were eliminated from 2004 redesign. See more »
It really improves in the final hour and is an incredibly moving microcosm of the South Korean immigrant experience since 1950.
This film begins in the present time and is about a crotchety old man, Duk-Soo. Then, suddenly the film jumps back to 1950 when his family found themselves in the middle of a war zone. His father, mother and three siblings all scrambled to climb aboard a US ship for safety in the South. But as Duk-Soo (probably only about 8 years old at the time) climbed up the rope ladder with his sister on his back, the tiny girl fell off...and you assume she's drowned. The father climbs off the ship to look for her and before going, he tells Duk-Soo he's the man of the family until he returns. But it's total chaos there and the father never returns. As the years pass, Duk-Soo takes his responsibility to care for his family EXTREMELY seriously, working long, long hours and often working abroad in dangerous places...all to put his younger brother through college and to care for his mother and extremely ungrateful sister. Eventually, near the end of the film, after working a lifetime to support his family, there is a break when a Korean TV program works to reunite families torn apart by the war...even though decades have passed.
The film is an incredibly moving experience--especially the last hour or so. It's all about the burden that Duk-Soo carried and how responsible and decent he is...and how so often the family and extended family cannot understand his work ethic. It's a wonderful microcosm of the Korean experience of the last 65 years--as Duk- Soo's story is one which undoubtedly resonates with many elderly Koreans today. Exquisitely made and well worth seeing.
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