Archive of films Crying Fist / Ju-Meok-I-Woon-Da

South Korea
2005, 135 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2005

Forty-year-old Gang Tae-shik is a one-time medallist at the Asian Games. Now to earn a living he lets frustrated people punch him as therapy. The younger Yu Sang-hwan is a ruthless gangster. After landing himself in prison he takes up boxing. For both men, boxing represents the last chance to drag themselves out of the gutter.


A Korean boxing movie that sticks to the rules of the genre but applies them in a modern narrative way. After a rather hectic beginning, Crying Fist focuses on the parallel stories of its two protagonists. Forty-year-old Gang Tae-shik was a medallist at the 1990 Asian Games, but after his family life falls apart he makes a living on the streets allowing frustrated people to punch him as therapy. A young man named Yu Sang-hwan is a fairly capable and remorseless gangster. He eventually ends up in prison where he is more or less forced into learning how to box. Both men have gone quickly downhill, and both seek a way out of their predicaments through boxing and the approaching amateur championship....  This rough and tumble movie, featuring a number of bust-ups and brawls and long sequences of training and boxing matches, is rounded out by a melodramatic storyline: the two seemingly incompatible fighters are attached to their families: Tae-shik to his son and Sang-hwan to his seriously ill grandmother.

About the director

Ryoo Seung-wan (b. 1973, South Korea) made inroads into the domestic film scene with his successful independent debut Die Bad (Jukgeona hokeun nabbeugeona, 2000, screened at Karlovy Vary), which he realized two years after his short action comedy Dachimawa lee (1998). He soon became a leading representative of the new wave of Asian action films, in part inspired by the work of his American and British counterparts. He then shot a gritty action picture in which two men take on the underworld, No Blood No Tears (Pido nunmuldo eobshi, 2002), followed by a highly successful action comedy about a young and eager policeman, Arahan jangpung daejakjeon (2004). The boxing flick Crying Fist (2005) diverges from the work typical for his filmography, thematically and in terms of its critical reception: it took the FIPRESCI prize at this year’s Cannes IFF in the Directors’ Fortnight section. Ryoo Seung-wan writes the scripts for his films and sometimes acts in them. He also regularly casts his younger brother Ryoo Seung-beom.


10F New Seoul B/D 618-3, Shinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, 135-894, Seoul
Korea (Republic of)
Tel: +82 2 344 695 90
Fax: +82 2 344 696 20

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Another View
Director: Ryoo Seung-wan
Screenplay: Ryoo Seung-wan, Jeon Cheol-hong
Dir. of Photography: Cho Yong-kyu
Music: Bang Jun-suk
Editor: Nam Na-young
Producer: Syd Lim, Park Jae-hyong
Production: Sio Film, koprodukce/coproduction:Bravo Entertainment
Cast: Choi Min-sik, Ryoo Seung-bum, Lim Won-hee, Chun Ho-jin
Contact: ShowEast

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