NewsLetter DailyWeekly
My HanCinema | Sign up, Why ? Your E-mail   Password    Auto| Help
HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity Contact HanCinema HanCinema on TwitterFaceBook HanCinema PageHanCinema on Twitter

'Border,' Personal Stories of NK Defectors

2006/05/04 Source

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

The situation in the war-torn Korean Peninsula has been an important motif in many local films.

In recent years, however, their main focus has shifted from the severe conflict between the two Koreas to individual tragedies and experiences.

The latest film "South of the Border (Kukkyongui Namjjok)", takes an even more personal look at the tragic situation and moviegoers may find it just another typical melodrama if they don't pay much attention to the fact that it is the first to deal with the lives of North Korean defectors in Seoul.

Directed by Ahn Pan-seok, the film revolves around Kim Sun-ho (played by Cha Seung-won), who is a horn player in an orchestra in North Korea.

As he belongs to a comparatively high class in his country, Sun-ho enjoys his life and has plans to marry his girlfriend Yon-hwa, whom he is very much in love with.

One day, Sun-ho's family receives a letter from his grandfather in Seoul, whom they had thought was dead. They begin to exchange letters, but this puts their family in great danger so they decide to defect to the South.

Sun-ho is devastated because he can't take Yon-hwa with him but he promises to take her to Seoul as soon as possible after arriving in the South.

In Seoul, he tries to save money to help her escape from the North. But one day, Sun-ho hears that Yon-hwa has married another man. He becomes hopeless but later tries to find a way to adapt himself to life in the South.

The film keeps a certain distance from political and social stances and doesn't touch upon any controversial aspects of the lives of North Koreans. You may think that the struggles by North Korean defectors to seek a new life are not realistically portrayed in the film.

As director Ahn is a famous television drama producer and this is his film directorial debut, he uses many flashbacks and somewhat detailed explanations as he did in his popular TV drama series.

But the film in many ways maintains the core elements of a melodrama that you can find enjoyable. It has many formulas often seen in other conventional melodramas _ happy moments shared between a couple and their separation and reunion _ but they are not cliche as they have a North Korean touch.

The dating scenes of Sun-ho and Yon-hwa are quite impressive as you get a glimpse of Pyongyang streets and an amusement park, thanks to well-recreated sets and computer graphics.

Overall, it's a new and interesting attempt at imparting the lives of North Koreans; the film shows that it is possible to do so without propaganda themes such as those that depict North Koreans as no longer enemies but neighbors, which have often appeared in such action-packed dramas as "Shiri" (1998), "JSA - Joint Security Area" (2000) and "Taegukgi: The Brotherhood War" (2004).

Source :

Copy & paste guideline for this article
Always put a link back to the source and HanCinema permalink

Creative Commons License"'Border,' Personal Stories of NK Defectors"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work from this source

Attention You're reading the news with potential spoilers, make them spoiler free, dismiss



 Previous news
  • Korean Movie Star Jang Dong-gun's new film The Promise Opens in America
    2006/05/03 (Source)
    Currently one of the most sought-after leading actors in Asia, Korean Jang Dong-gun may be coming to a theater near you. Multi-talented fashion model, singer, TV star, and film actor, Jang Dong-gun stars in the new Chinese film "The Promise", which opens on May 5, 2006 in 58 cities throughout the Un,...More

  • Lee Joon-gi to Visit Taiwan to Promote "The King and The Clown"
    2006/05/03 (Source)
    Actor Lee Joon-gi, who played the lead role in the recent hit movie "The King and The Clown", will visit Taiwan to promote the film ahead of its release there on May 12.

    CJ Entertainment, the distributor of the movie, said Tuesday that Lee will make a two-day trip to Taiwan during the weekend. He,...

  • “Daisy” Ready to Top Chinese Box-Office
    2006/05/03 (Source)
    The multinational movie "Daisy" directed by Andrew Lau Wai-Keung and starring top Korean stars Jun Ji-hyun and Jung Woo-sung made a good start in China.

    The largest Chinese portal site said Tuesday that "Daisy" topped the box office on its day of release with an estimated 230 million (23,...

Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.


Remove ads

Sign up




Visible, hide

Learn to read Korean in 90 minutes or less using visual associations

About | Privacy policy | Contact | Partners

Mobile version