Korean Film ‘Ode to My Father’ Draws Over 10 Million Viewers

kpopluv, Jan. 15, 2015, 10:53 a.m.

"Ode to My Father" has become the first film of the year to attract 10 million viewers in Korea and is the 11th domestic film to do so overall.  The film achieved the feat on Tuesday, less than a month since its release on Dec. 17.  Director Youn Je-kyun is now the first Korean director to have two films that drew over 10 million viewers, following the success of "Haeundae,” which brought in 11.45 million viewers in 2009.

The Korean movie ’Ode to My Father’ is a 2014 South Korean drama film directed by Yoon Je-kyoon. Starring Hwang Jung-min and Yunjin Kim, it depicts modern Korean history from the 1950s to the present day through the life of an ordinary man. The movie is set during the Hungnam Evacuation of 1951 in the Korean War, when thousands of refugees in what would become North Korea were transported south by US navy boats, the child Deok-soo loses track of his sister Mak-soon. Because of this, Deok-soo's father stays behind to search for her, telling his son to take his mother and his two younger siblings to the port city of Busan, where Deok-soo's aunt Mi-ran Ra runs an imported goods store. Before leaving Deok-soo and the rest of his family, Deok-soo's father makes Deok-soo promise to be the head of the household in his place.

As the firstborn, Deok-soo becomes the breadwinner of the household from an early age, doing all manner of odd jobs to support his family. In the 1960s, financial need forces him to travel to Europe with his best friend Dal-goo, where they find dangerous work as Gastarbeiters (guest workers) in the German coal mines in order to pay for his brothers tuition to Seoul National University. There, Deok-soo falls in love with a fellow migrant worker, the nurse Young-ja. After a mining accident, Deok-soo leaves Germany because his visa expires. Young-ja returns to Korea months later and reveals to Deok-soo she's pregnant with his child. Soon after, they have a modest wedding and begin a life together, eventually having two sons. Deok-soo decides to leave Korea again in the 1970s for war-torn Vietnam, partly to fulfill his sister's wish for a big wedding. Young-ja is worried, knowing the dangers of wartime, but Deok-soo convinces her to see his way, partly by roping his best friend Dal-goo into going. Depite his assurances to his wife that he's safe, Deok-soo returns to Korea with a lame leg, a result of getting shot while helping villagers escape from the Viet Cong.


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