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USA: Lot 47 Films
Cast: Seung-woo Cho, Hyo-jeong Lee, Jung-hun Lee
Director: Im Kwon Taek
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean (English subtitles)
USA: 119 mins
USA Release Date: 29 December 2000 (Limited Release - New York)
Im Kwon Taek's CHUNHYANG, Korea's largest cinematic production ever—a four month shoot employing over 8,000 extras and some 12,000 costumes—made its world premiere in the main competition of the Cannes Film Festival 2000.
This epic tale of forbidden passion, devotion and the glorious triumph of love in adversity is set in 18th Century Korea and begins as Mongryong, the privileged son of the Governor of Namwon, falls in love with Chunhyang, the beautiful daughter of a proud former courtesan. Soon after they are married in secret, Mongryong is ordered to Seoul to finish his education. He leaves reluctantly and promises that once he finishes his schooling he will send for his beloved. But time passes, and a new, vindictive Governor is appointed in the province where Chunhyang lives. This new Governor pursues Chunhyang and when she refuses his advances, she is imprisoned and sentenced to death. Chunhyang's only hope for being saved is her faith in the promise Mongryong once made to her.
Drawing heavily on his country's rich and vibrant cultural heritage, veteran Korean director Im Kwon Taek's CHUNHYANG retells a classic tale of lovers torn apart by their two different worlds. In order to retell the timeless story of CHUNHYANG Im Kwon Taek has innovatively incorporated the ancient operatic tradition of pansori—a stylized narrative art form incorporating dance, music and song, which dates back to the days of the Chosun Dynasty —to breathtaking effect.