Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, June 17: MY LOVE, DON’T CROSS THAT RIVER
Jin Mo-young’s portrait of an elderly couple debuted at DMZ Docs in 2014, where it won the audience award. Other screenings have included Hot Docs, Los Angeles, Tempo Doc, Visions du Reel, DocAviv, Sydney, BFI London, RIDM, Cork, DOK Leipzig, Moscow, Hamptons, and the New York Asian fests.
Cho Byeong-man, 98, and Kang Kye-yeol, 89, have been married 76 years. Their children and grandkids may occasionally come to visit, but, for the most part, it’s just the two of them, inseparable in their modest country home. When they walk into town, or head out on group outings with other seniors, the loving couple dress in bright matching traditional outfits. They’re prone to playfulness, engaging in snowball or water fights. Cho can’t fall asleep unless he’s touching his beloved Kang, while she requests that he sing for her while she’s using the outhouse late at night to allay her fears. Although Cho tries to stay active, collecting firewood and tending to his beloved dogs, he has started to become short of breath and prone to painful coughing bouts. Over the course of the film, his condition worsens. With no recourse due to his advanced age, relatives descend on the family home to say their farewells, and Kang sadly prepares for the inevitable, slowly beginning to burn some of Cho’s clothes so he has something to wear in the afterlife. Jin’s remarkably crafted, at times magical, portrait offers audiences a brief but enduring glimpse of love, companionship, and mortality.