My Love, Don't Cross That River

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My Love, Don't Cross That River
My Love, Don't Cross That River.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Jin Mo-young
Produced by Han Gyeong-su
Starring Jo Byeong-man
Kang Kye-yeol
Music by Jeong Min-woo
Cinematography Jin Mo-young
Edited by Hyun Jin-sik
Production
company
Argus Film
Distributed by CGV Art House
Daemyung Culture Factory
Release date
  • November 2013 (2013-11) (DMZ Docs)
  • November 27, 2014 (2014-11-27) (South Korea)
Running time
85 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Budget US$110,000[1]
Box office US$34.3 million[2]

My Love, Don't Cross That River (Hangul님아, 그 강을 건너지 마오) is a 2013 South Korean documentary film that follows elderly married couple Jo Byeong-man and Kang Kye-yeol until the last moments of their 76-year marriage.[3] Documentary filmmaker Jin Mo-young filmed Jo and Kang in the couple's mountain village in Hoengseong County, Gangwon Province for 15 months.[4]

My Love, Don't Cross That River premiered at the 2013 DMZ International Documentary Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award.[5] It was released in theaters on 27 November 2014 and through word of mouth became the most commercially successful Korean documentary/independent film of all time.[6][7]

Production[edit]

Married couple, 95-year-old Jo Byeong-man and 90-year-old Kang Kye-yeol, were first featured onscreen in a five-episode segment titled Gray-haired Lovers on a KBS television documentary program that aired in 2011.[8] After documentary filmmaker Jin Mo-young saw Jo and Kang on TV, he rushed to the couple's mountain village in Hoengseong County, Gangwon Province and asked them if he could make their story into a possible film. After obtaining their permission in September 2012, Jin followed the couple for 15 months and documented their everyday life.[5][9]

Reception[edit]

Upon its theatrical release on 27 November 2014, the film became the most commercially successful Korean independent film of all time in terms of revenue and attendance.[7][10][11][12][13]

Box office[edit]

In South Korea, the film topped the box office during its opening weekend with ₩5.13 billion (US$4.66 million) ahead of its competition, Hollywood films Interstellar, Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Theory of Everything.[5] It was the second time ever and the first time in five years that a documentary film had topped the Korean box office since Old Partner opened at No. 1 in 2009.[1] It has so far grossed ₩8.38 billion (US$7.62 million) in 15 days, which is 70 times its production budget of ₩120 million (US$110,000).[1][14] As of January 2015, the film drew 3.73 million admissions, beating Old Partner's record (2.93 million) to become the highest grossing Korean independent/documentary film of all time.[15]

Critical reception[edit]

My Love, Don't Cross That River has received mostly positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 84%, based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10.[16] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 68 out of 100, based on 8 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[17]

Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter gave a positive review calling it "the cinematic equivalent of marriage counseling."[18]

Film festivals[edit]

Aside from DMZ Docs, the film was also invited to screen at the Moscow International Film Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, the Sydney Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2015.[19][20]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2014
DMZ International Documentary Film Festival
Audience Award[5] My Love, Don't Cross That River Won
2015
6th KOFRA Film Awards[21]
Best Independent Film Won
10th Max Movie Awards
Best Film Nominated
Best Director Jin Mo-young Nominated
Best Trailer My Love, Don't Cross That River Nominated
Best Poster Won
51st Baeksang Arts Awards
Best New Director Jin Mo-young Nominated
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
Audience Award[22] 4th place
21st Los Angeles Film Festival[23][24][25]
Documentary Award My Love, Don't Cross That River Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kim, Nemo (15 December 2014). "Korea Box Office: Local Documentary Tops Weekend Chart". Variety. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  2. ^ Kil, Sonia (18 January 2015). "Korea Box Office: Ode and Love Forecast top Chart, Sniper Opens in Eighth". Variety. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  3. ^ Conran, Pierce (24 November 2014). "My Love, Don't Cross that River". Korean Cinema Today. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  4. ^ Lee, Sook-myung (5 January 2015). "JIN Mo-young, Director of MY LOVE, DON'T CROSS THAT RIVER: "There's no need to be caught up in film scores"". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Baek, Byung-yeul (14 December 2014). "Korean docu film tops box office, beats Interstellar, Exodus". The Korea Times. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  6. ^ Yim, Ju-ri; Go, Seok-hee (18 December 2014). "Film on elderly couple a surprise hit". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Indie Documentary Breaks Box-Office Records". The Chosun Ilbo. 26 December 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  8. ^ "REEL Talk: Golden Year for Korean Documentaries". Arirang News. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  9. ^ Ahn, Sung-mi (15 December 2014). "Gray-haired lovers become cinema hit". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Indie Documentary on Track to Set New Record". The Chosun Ilbo. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  11. ^ Conran, Pierce (10 December 2014). "Korean Doc Becomes Top Indie of the Year". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  12. ^ Sung, So-young (13 December 2014). "Documentary tops box office". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  13. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (14 December 2014). "He's 98, She's 89 And Their Love Story Is Edging Hollywood At Korea's B.O." Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  14. ^ Jin, Eun-soo (16 December 2014). "Domestic documentary gains a box office record". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  15. ^ Sonia Kil (6 February 2015). "Berlin: Demographics, Technology Favor the Revival of South Korean Indie Films". Variety. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  16. ^ "My Love, Don't Cross That River (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  17. ^ "My Love, Don't Cross That River reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  18. ^ Frank Scheck (15 June 2016). "'My Love, Don't Cross That River': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  19. ^ Kim, June (18 March 2015). "Hot Docs Picks MY LOVE, DON'T CROSS THAT RIVER". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  20. ^ Kim, June (16 April 2015). "MY LOVE, DON'T CROSS THAT RIVER Invited to Sydney". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  21. ^ "Han Gong-ju picked as best film of 2014 by Korean film reporters". The Korea Herald. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  22. ^ "2015 Awards". Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  23. ^ Gettell, Oliver (17 June 2015). "LAFF 2015: Out of My Hand, Don't Cross That River win top prizes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  24. ^ "S. Korean director wins top documentary award in LA film fest". The Korea Herald. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  25. ^ Jin, Eun-soo (20 June 2015). "My Love wins prize in L.A." Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 21 June 2015.

External links[edit]