Archive of films Lovers Vanished / Pok-poong-jeon-ya

South Korea
2010, 105 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2010

This South Korean melodrama captures the growing bond between two emotionally wounded people shrouded by the shadow of ineluctable death. An unjustly convicted man willingly contracts the HIV virus in the hope it will help him get out of prison. Once outside, he ends up at a remote seaside restaurant run by a love-lorn woman who needs a ray of hope in her life as much as he does. But happiness is destined to elude them…


This independent melodrama, a Korean Leaving Las Vegas (1995) according to its creator, depicts the fragile bonding of two people who thought they would never love again. He is an unjustly convicted chef who voluntarily contracts HIV from another inmate’s needle in order to get released from prison. Then he can find out who really murdered his wife. She was a magician’s assistant, who fell miserably in love with her boss. Now she runs a remote restaurant on the windswept coast of South Korean’s Jeju island. Their paths cross after he escapes from prison, visiting the young woman at the request of a fellow inmate. She gives him a job as a chef, and they begin to get closer. Despite the relaxing seaside idyll and the ray of hope shining down on the characters’ stark lives, happiness is forbidden them. A nationwide police search has begun for the fugitive and the inescapable threat of death from AIDS hangs over him every moment like a shadow.

About the director

Cho Chang-ho (b. 1972, Hongcheon, South Korea) graduated in film direction from the Seoul Institute of the Arts. He started out as assistant director on Three Friends (Sechinku, 1996), Birdcage Inn (Paran daemun, 1998), Interview (Intyebyu, 2000), and Bad Guy (Nabbeun namja, 2001). In 2005 he finished his directorial debut, The Peter Pan Formula (Piteo Paeneui gongshik). This complex psychological picture, which betrays evidence of the style of Kim Ki-duk, the director’s mentor, in the formal approach to the scenes, was shown at several international festivals and took the Jury Prize at the Deauville Asian Film Festival in 2006. Then the director created one of three episodes for the cheerful anthology film Fantastic Parasuicides (Pantasutik jasal sodong, 2007). Lovers Vanished is Cho’s latest film project.


M-Line Distribution
3F Mido Bldg., 540-21 Shinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, 135-889, Seoul
Korea (Republic of)
Tel: +822 344 415 99
Fax: +822 796 2429

About the film

Color, 35 mm
International premiere

Section: Another View
Director: Cho Chang-ho
Screenplay: Cho Chang-ho
Dir. of Photography: KIM Yong-chul
Music: Ji Park
Editor: Kim Hyung-joo
Producer: Lee Tae Hun
Production: Opus Pictures
Cast: Kim Nam-gil, Hwang Woo-seul-hae
Contact: M-Line Distribution


Cho Chang-ho

Film Director


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