Amid the time of Korean War, a young boy's vow to take care of his family marked the beginning of a lifelong promise spanning 60 years.


JK Youn


Su-jin Park (as Soo-jin Park), JK Youn
23 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Jung-min Hwang ... Yoon, Duk-soo (as Jeong-min Hwang)
Yunjin Kim ... Youngja
Dal-su Oh ... Dal-gu
Jin-young Jung ... Yoon, Jin-gyu
Jang Young-Nam ... Mother
Mi-ran Ra ... Aunt Kkotbun
Seul-gi Kim ... Kketsun (as Seul-ki Kim)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stella Choe Stella Choe ... Maksoon
Jesse Day Jesse Day ... American Soldier
Ji-seong Eom Ji-seong Eom ... Deok-Su
Yunho Jung Yunho Jung ... Nam Jin
Min-Jae Kim ... Yoon, Dojoo
Hyun Lee Hyun Lee ... Seung-Gyu
István Medvigy István Medvigy ... Maksoon's Husband
Yeong-su Park Yeong-su Park ... Youth Association President


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 CJ Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One promise can shape a lifetime


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Four VFX company is involved with the film's VFX. See more »


The computer print-out of passenger manifest showed the modern typefaces in different font style and size as if printed from the inkjet or laser printer. Neither were available in 1980. The technology in 1980 would be typewriter font in one style and size along with characteristic appearance of ink ribbons as if printed from telex machines. See more »


Remade as Bharat (2019) See more »

User Reviews

Go See It for Yourself! Educational, Entertaining and Stirring.
16 January 2015 | by easyspeakkoreanSee all my reviews

Wowww! I don't know where to start. The movie was so much better than my expectation after reading the IMDb's movie critics' reviews. I feel compelled to disagree with some of the criticisms that this movie tried to be melodramatic, some scenes were unnecessarily too comical, and that it was improbable and unrealistic for a person to go through all such tumultuous events. I like to recommend those critics to read about the 20th century Korean history.

My mother now in her 80's experienced many of the same experiences and some additional events in her lifetime: the Japanese occupation (1910- 1945), her 11 -year old classmates being shipped off by Japanese as wartime prostitutes during WWII (1939-1945), Korean independence (1948), Korean War (1950-1953) during which time she was a refugee in Busan, etc.

Immediately after WWII, after Japan exhausted all of Korea's natural resources, goods and men to fuel their war engines, Korean War broke. Whatever remained standing or fertile were bombed or burned up. After the Korean War, Korea was literally in rubble and ashes. Many families were split up and scattered during the war. The Streets were covered with orphans. Holt Adoption Agency placed many Korean orphans in American homes. These are all accurate.

As an early teen (in early 1960's), I was hearing about many Koreans hiring themselves out to foreign countries to find work as miners, nurses, or soldiers. The movie was also accurate that Germany did not extend the visas of foreigner miners for they were hired to make up for their temporary labor shortage.

I do agree with the critics that some of the acting was a bit raw, but they were soon forgotten as the movie pulled me into the story. I appreciated the funny scenes in the movie, for without them, it would have been too depressing to watch. This is a wonderful, wonderful movie, you must see! It is playing in K-Town at CGV theater. Also good eats in the same shopping mall.

37 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]


South Korea


Korean | English | German | Vietnamese

Release Date:

17 December 2014 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Ode to My Father See more »

Filming Locations:

Busan, South Korea See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,880, 28 December 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

JK FILMS, The 6th Element See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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