Archive of films Christmas in August / Palweolui Christmas

South Korea
1998, 97 min

Section: New Korean Cinema
Year: 2001


In a quiet neighbourhood of the South Korean capital Seoul, 30-year-old Jung Won operates the small photographic studio he took over from his father. His customers are local people who leave their pictures to be developed, or if it’s a special occasion they might ask to be photographed. Jung Won lives within a loving family circle which includes his father, his married sister and her children; he, however, hasn’t yet married in spite of the fact that girls seem interested. His voluntary solitude doesn’t stem from a desire to remain free of the bonds of marriage nor from disappointment. And when he meets his childhood sweetheart after many years his only response is a slight nostalgia. No one suspects that the young man is seriously ill and is trying to come to terms with his own mortality; he knows there isn’t much time left him on this earth. Even so, he desires love and, indeed, meets an attractive young policewoman named Darim who awakens deep feelings of tenderness within him. The girl doesn’t know that his fate has been decided long ago, but neither does she suspect that hers has too.

About the director

Hur Jin Ho (b. 1963, South Korea) grew up in Seoul, and graduated in philosophy from Yonsei University. He continued his studies at KAFA (Korean Academy of Film Arts) in 1992 and his graduating project was a 16 mm film entitled For Kochul shot from his own script. He then worked as assistant director to Park Kwang Soo on To the Starry Island and A Single Spark, the latter of which he co-scripted. Christmas in August is his feature film debut and the director says that it treats life’s two most fundamental themes – love and death. The film has received much international recognition including the Audience Award at Annonay, France; the FIPRESCI Prize at Gent; the Dragon & Tiger Award at Vancouver; and the Golden Camera for Best Directorial Debut at the Cannes IFF.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: New Korean Cinema
Director: Hur Jin Ho
Screenplay: Oh Seung Wook, Shin Dong Hwan, Hur Jin Ho
Dir. of Photography: Yoo Young Kil
Music: Cho Sung Woo
Editor: Ham Sung Won
Producer: Tcha Sung Jai
Production: Uno Films
Cast: Han Suk Kyu, Shim Eun Ha, Shim Koo, Oh Ji Hae, Lee Han Wi, Chum Mi Sun, Kwon Hae Won

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