Festival Producer: Lee Tae-won Ahn Sung-ki, Oh Jung-hae Screenplay: Yuk Sang-hyo Cinematography: Park Seung-bae Music: Kim Su-cheol
Editing: Park Sun-deok Director: Im Kwon-Taek The thing about senile dementia is it allows one to relive his or her past in reverse chronology. 40 years ago, asking for my dead father, my old mother was reliving
her days as a newlywed. Fussing over her mother-in-law’s supper, she was reliving her days as
a young daughter-in-law. And, when she would wander off
with her bundle, she was once again a young girl
from a distant forgotten time. She was locked in the past, reliving her life. Hey, mister!
Have you seen my mother? Has she wandered off again? Yes. She’s driving me crazy! I think she was trying to return to
her childhood home in Dokdo. She could easily take the new land route, but I think she only remembers the sea route from the old days. Thank you!
Thank you so much! – Take care of her.
– I will. What were you thinking?
You can’t keep doing this! I want to go home. A few years ago,
a friend lost both his kidneys and was searching for an organ donor. He had eight siblings,
two children and his mother. 22 kidneys in total, and nobody was willing to
offer him an organ. My friend despaired
over the grim reality. Mom! Who is that woman? Why is she butt naked in broad daylight? At the time,
I thought of my old mother and felt ever so grateful
for her sound health. Parents, no matter how old they are,
would gladly give not one, but both their kidneys to their child. They would give up all
their organs in a heartbeat. In any case, my elderly mother’s
good health puts my own lousy health, plagued with smoke and alcohol to shame, while also being a source of
comfort and hope. If my elderly mother could
live such a long and healthy life, I felt hopeful that
I also had the same fate. Honey? Honey… It’s your mother. Yes, speaking. What time? It’s 11:00.
We’ll be there by 7:00, at the latest. Alright. What?
Go to the bank and get some money. How much? You know how much.
Withdraw everything. You know they’re depending on us. Oh, and pick up Eun-ji from school. Dad, is Grandma dead again? Are we going to Gangneung? I’ve been contributing every month, so include a note of
apology in the preface. If you take over,
I know I’ll be in good hands. Thanks and get
Song Gyu-shik on the line. Song, those pallbearers
I was talking about. Those good-for-nothing
bunch of drunks. They visit every summer to fish,
and have met my mother. So, they’ll be good enough. Call them and tell them they
must arrive by tomorrow night. Alright. Bye. It would be great if she
woke up like last time. But, what are the chances? You make your way down.
Don’t tell the others, yet. Okay. – Eunji? Eun-ji!
– Yeah, dad? How are you feeling right now? I should be sad,
but I’m not. We’re on our way to bury Grandma. – Do you know what a funeral is?
– Burying the dead? That’s only part of a funeral. Hello? It’s me.
What? She woke up? Yes. Mother? It’s me. We tied her up over three hours ago. She scared the living daylights out of
everyone when she opened her eyes! She’s eaten some porridge.
And, she’s breathing loudly as well. Don’t be surprised if
her memory comes back completely. Who knows?
She could be testing us to see how we would react
if she came back to life. Who knows what’s going on
inside her head? And, who’s going to
eat all that food? I see. Don’t rush.
Be careful driving and see you later. Here comes Auntie
Lee from Hampyeong. My poor mother!
My poor poor mother! No, she’s not dead! Hi, uncle Jun-seop. How’s it going? Can someone take Eun-ji?
She’s asleep. Let’s go in. – You’re here.
– Good to see you! We’ve been waiting. Long drive, eh? Must have come as a shock. Guess where the party is tonight? I have a feeling
she’s playing with us. She’s listening to every word. Shush. Mother, Jun-seop is here. It’s me.
Have you eaten anything? We’ve already eaten, mister. Eat something and feel
free to stay over. She doesn’t even
recognize her own son. Maybe what she needs right now is
something that will boost her stamina. Are you kidding? Her body will fight it.
Don’t you think? Here’s her obituary in the Honam daily.
Must have been your friends in Seoul. You know, I’m her daughter,
but even I was hoping that we might bury her this time.
I can’t imagine what you’re thinking… I know she woke up again, but she won’t have too long to live. Take care of her until then. Why don’t you stay?
You planning to drive to Gwangju this late? – I have to go.
– Get home safely. – Take care.
– Drive safely. We will. Eun-ji’s grandma is
14 times Eun-ji’s age. Last spring, she had a
big 70th birthday party. She may be old, but she loves Eun-ji
even more than her mom and even more than her dad. Leave Grandma alone. Leave her be. She’s just a child.
Here you go. To Eun-ji, there was one
mystery she could not solve. Although grandma was older
than her parents, and the most
revered in the family, she was smaller than
her mom and dad. After her 70th birthday celebration, she became even smaller. That’s because you’ve
been taking my age. Grandma used to be
taller than me or dad, but ever since she became an adult, she has been sharing her age with us
and that’s why she’s smaller. The reason why she
keeps getting smaller is when you were born, she started to share
her age with you as well. Eun-ji was well aware that when people grew older,
they grew taller. But, she had no idea that her grandma has been
sharing with her, her own age. She thought it was marvelous
and felt grateful, but she also felt
a twinge of guilt, too. I know it doesn’t seem right,
but we all grow up to be adults. That’s what Grandma wants for you. Of course. As long as my Eun-ji grows up
to be a fine young woman, I don’t mind sharing my age at all. It would be my pleasure. My days are coming to an end,
while yours have just started. Hearing those words,
Eun-ji felt better. She realized that
she should be grateful more than anything else and
grow up to be a fine young woman. Mother! Mother! – Mother!
– Mom! Sokgweng: Closing body cavity of the dead Imjong: Passing Gobok, Chohon: Taking the coat of the deceased to
the roof and calling out his or her name three times. Ok-nam Kim of Hwangsan
has passed away! No, what I mean is, she woke up and passed away
again early this morning. Yes. Sajasang: Offerings to the angel of death Enjoy the feast and take
my mother in one piece. Little rascals! You hungry? This meal is for the messengers of death who
will guide Grandma on her last journey. Not even the dogs will touch this meal. Dad, the house is empty! Go back home. Writing and sending off the obituary We should call Baek-dong, too. Mr. Kim from Achishil
will direct the funeral. Sae-mal here will usher the guests. And, I have asked a close acquaintance from Haenam to officiate the funeral. But, we have our own funeral officiator. Why would you ask
someone from Haenam? Let Jun-seop take care of everything. Uncle Jun-seop, someone’s on the phone. Let’s hope she’s really dead this time. Susi: Binding of the hands
and feet of the deceased Oh, mother… Did you want to stay so badly? My poor mother! Oh, god… Poor mother. Mom… Balsang: Calling on the dead spirit and wailing
to inform everyone of his or her death In many of your books, you mention your mother a lot. So, I wanted to see her in person, and see how your family sends
her off for the final time. Well, behave. Stay low key. My boss flipped when I told him I had to leave right
before the deadline. If I don’t have a story,
I’m dead. I need everyone’s cooperation. Hello?
Is this Mr. Hur? Yes. Where are you? Isn’t the orchid painting in the dead
woman’s room done by that guy? Yeah? – He’s a master calligrapher.
– Who cares. If you follow that road,
you’ll see a sign… Get him to write something for
you and you can make millions. Yes, just follow that road.
See you soon. Fetch us some cooking oil! Here they come. Thanks for coming! I can’t believe she’s gone! Where’s your husband? Yes! Hey, Gyu-shik!
What time are you getting here? Alright, thanks. Give me a cigarette. I can’t believe! Oh, god… – Recognize me?
– How did you find out? I guess I should thank
my celebrity uncle. I saw the obituary in the paper.
Am I pathetic or what? Why? Am I not welcome here? Take this! Good job. You must be tired.
Do you need help? Nah, you got weak muscles. If only I were ten years younger, I wouldn’t be making
you work so hard. Where is that heartless
mother of yours anyway? Leaving her only child to go pick
tangerines in Jeju and not even a word… She said she’d bring back
a fortune to buy us a house. Is that what she told you?
Never in a million years. A mother should take care
of her own children. Hey! What are you doing here? She was the prettiest
bride back then. Fresh off the boat from Dokdo
Island at the age of 17. Such a beauty she was.
The whole village fell in love with her. And, not just a pretty face, either. She was hardworking and was as strong
as two farmhands put together. But, life didn’t treat her so kindly. Three years into her marriage,
her father-in-law passed away. Two years later,
her mother-in-law died. And, all her playboy husband
did was get her pregnant. He never worked a day
in his life so she had to. To make things even worse, fate threw another obstacle her way. Her useless husband
kicked the bucket, leaving her to raise their
seven children by herself, and just when things seemed to look up
a little, her eldest son gets into trouble. So, drop five off in Wando,
and the rest in Cheongsando, right? Where are you headed? I wonder if we could get a ride. No, we’re going far out today. She resented him idling away his life and
married him off early and what does he do? He sells the family land
to buy a boat with a friend to deliver produce and
fish to nearby islands. But, those two loved women
and booze too much. Did you get the boat fare
from that family the other day? No, but I plan to this time. You sure you didn’t already
spend it on you-know-what? Yeah, I wish! He soon lost his boat and his house, and died, leaving his three children. That woman with the bob is the eldest
sibling from Gwangju, right? Yup. And, that couple is from Hampyeong? Yes. And, that’s Su-nam from
Gwangju with the skate? And the man in the suit
is also from Hampyeong? That’s right. He’s their son. We don’t have all day! I haven’t seen you around.
How do you know them so well? Who’s the sexy one over there? I’ve never seen her before. Looks like she’s from Seoul. Fancy, ain’t she? You don’t recognize me, do you?
It’s me, Yong-sun. The little girl nobody wanted
once upon a time. Yong-sun? How long has it been? I don’t believe this! How dare she walk into this house
with her head held so high? You bring bad luck!
Get out, you thief! Thief? What’s your problem?
I’m not here to see you. I came to say goodbye
to my grandmother! Get out! You’re not
wanted around here! Don’t you dare touch me! I’m no longer that little girl
you slaved around! What did you say? What’s going on here?
We’re getting ready for a funeral! – That’s Yong-sun!
– How is she related? Jun-seop’s dead older brother knocked up some girl
who gave birth to Yong-sun. Father! Quit talking
nonsense to this woman! Go inside! Come on!
Enough’s enough! Myeongjeong: A flag bearing the name
of the deceased and his or her So, he’s writing the abstract of
Grandma’s census register for her afterlife. Is that what he’s writing? He really is a master calligrapher.
He’s good. Hello. My name is Jang Hye-rim. I’m a reporter for a magazine
called The Age of Literature. Have you ever read it? I guess it’s only popular
among the literati. I’d thought I knew everything
about your uncle’s family. He writes about his
family members a lot. And, meeting them all in person, I realize he was accurate about
each and every one of them. But, you came to me as a surprise. Why has he never
mentioned you once? Why are you asking me that?
Ask him. Have you stolen anything? I didn’t steal anything. I was practically their
maid for ten years. And, I paid every
penny back, with interest. After graduating from elementary school,
all I did was work. So I used a bit of my cousin’s
trust fund. What’s the big deal? All I wanted in life was to save up
some money and live with Grandma. Do you know the song ‘Chilgapsan’? Ju Byeong-seon sang it. I know the song,
but don’t know the lyrics. Dear maid on a pea patch, your dress is drenched with the sad tears you shed with every seed you sow. The day you wed, leaving
your poor widowed mother behind the mountain ridges of Chilgap… I wanted to take Grandma to Seoul,
and let her live comfortably. Life’s a bitch, then you die. How about your mother? Who knows? She roamed from bar
to bar and died of an illness. My mother was a whore. And, your father? I hate him, but I miss him.
Almost as much as I miss Grandma. What? They don’t want to
sell me alcohol? She says you owe
them a whole chest, and unless you pay what you owe,
she won’t sell you anymore. I’m a regular customer, damn it!
How dare she! After he lost his business
and then the house, the family scattered here and there. I lived with my father
in a shabby mud hut. Who am I? I said, who am I? Daddy. That’s right. I’m your father. Who is this lady?
She’s your rotten mother! If I ever catch her, I’m going to break her legs in half! How could you leave behind
your miserable wife and kids, and so many more hearts
to break in this world? You can’t die now! When he could no longer
afford his alcohol, my father killed himself
by drinking pesticide. After he died, my father’s family
rented out a small house in my grandma’s
childhood hometown. I preferred living with my father in that decrepit old hut. Yong-sun! Where are you? Didn’t I tell you to fill
that crock with water? Stop ordering me around like a slave! What did you say? If you don’t want to work,
get out of the house! It’s not our loss! Do you know what
everyone’s saying? What are they saying? They say you’re lucky to
have a girl like me to slave around! Yeah? I dress you! I feed you!
I send you to school! Have you ever heard of a
slave who gets treated so nicely? Who’s the child and
who’s the adult here? Shut up, both of you! I still have nightmares
about those days! Why did we all hate
each other so much? – Because we’re poor?
– Look who’s here! – How have you been?
– Long time, no see! – Getting prettier by the day!
– Get us a room, will you? What are you all doing here? Miss Jang? Didn’t expect to see you here. Are you here for
the funeral already? We’re not expected till tomorrow night. We just have to carry
the coffin the day after. We got here a day early to go fishing. Don’t tell Jun-seop about this!
You didn’t see us here. It’s good to see you, though. You escaped the last time. I plan to drink with
her till we drop tonight. You’re a professor, you moron! Many a men have challenged
Jang to a drinking feud and ended up hanging their heads in shame. That Yong-sun has lost her mind! She’s gone off to the karaoke room
with the men. Like mother like daughter!
Both whores! She’s in the exact neighborhood where her mother prostituted
herself and died! I’m going to kill that girl! I’ve never seen her pass out before. Could we have a rag, please? How much did you girls drink? An order of raw fish
and five bottles of soju? Six? She peed herself. My uncle is the best son
the world ever saw. Keeping dead grandma company
all alone till the late hours. You’re drunk. Of course I am. I drank with some gentlemen,
your Seoul friends. Go get some sleep. Some reporter named
Jang was there, too. According to your friends,
that woman knows you inside out, and they didn’t mean
just your books, either. Maybe that’s why she
worships you so much. She keeps referring to you as Mr. Lee, the ‘gracious’ and
the most ‘amazing’ writer. So, I took the liberty
to inform her of the truth. I told her what a genuine
hypocrite you are. But, I don’t think
she bought what I said. Anyway, what’s occupying that
mind of yours right now? Since you sold Grandma in your
novels while she was alive, are you trying to sell her death, too? When Eun-ji started school
at the age of eight, she was as tall as her grandma. During the night,
Grandma would go to the bathroom, and lose her way,
often sleeping in the kitchen. At times, she would ask for
her long-dead family members, and at times, she acted like
she was a guest at someone’s house. She would insist she had to
return home before it got too late. My mother made me this
pretty dress for my birthday. I would hate to soil it, so I’m keeping it nice
and clean in this bundle. Dad? Why is Grandma always
talking about the past? She’s acting like a little girl. That’s because she
shares her age with you, she also gives you
some of her wisdom. That’s why she is slowly
retreating to the old days and becoming younger and younger. Eun-ji found it marvelous
and felt grateful. But, she still felt guilty that Grandma was turning
into a child because of her. When you become an adult, you’ll also have Grandma’s
wisdom as well. Becoming an adult not only
means growing taller but also becoming wiser like Grandma. That’s why she is happily sharing
her age and wisdom with you while she is reliving her happy childhood. Wouldn’t you like Grandma to become your best friend
in the world? Wouldn’t that be wonderful, for both you and for Grandma? Eun-ji agreed she would
like that very much. She knew Grandma’s wisdom would help
her grow into a fine young woman. Whenever she was alone at home, she would cook dinner
multiple times a day, collect dry laundry and
wash them again and again and pick the persimmons
way before they got ripe. You picking persimmons or chestnuts? Those persimmons are still green! Just trying to help, that’s all. Banham: Feeding three spoonfuls
of rice to the corpse – 1,000 bushels.
– 1,000 thousand. – 2,000 bushels.
– 2,000. – 3,000 bushels.
– 3,000. At 80, she was as strong as a mule. The fastest walker you ever saw, too. She’d be there one minute
and gone the next. The entire village would be
dispatched to go search for her. Two or three times, at least every month,
even in the middle of the night. Did you find her? I went all the way to
Gahak village to find her. Hello! – Where are you?!
– I’m over here! – Hey!
– I found her! Where do you think
she was headed to? Don’t ask me!
Only the devil knows! Hold on tight. Yeom: Scenting the corpse Once while working on the field,
villagers saw smoke rising from this house. So, we rushed over here to check and saw thick smoke was
coming out from her room and Grandma crawling
around and falling. It turns out she set her room on fire
while smoking a cigarette. Mother, no more cigarettes
for you from now. Short hair is in fashion
these days, you know. Everyone is cutting their hair
short and perming it. So, don’t get upset at me
for cutting it off. What’s wrong, my darling?
Alright, alright. Is that hair in your mouth? I promise you’ll get your
hairpin back one day. Don’t worry. The daughter-in-law couldn’t be bothered and the babies kept chewing on the loose
strands, so the long hair had to go. Her long hair was her
last remaining dignity, and after she lost it, her condition became increasingly
worse as the days went by. Mother, here is some bibimbap
and boiled potatoes for when you get hungry. I’ll be working on the pea patch
and will be back after sunset. Don’t you go anywhere! – You can pee in here.
– I want to go with you! Come back! The daughter-in-law put
a lock on the door. She had to because
she kept wandering off. She couldn’t sit
and watch over her all day. Was Mr.Lee aware of this the whole time? Of course he was. The whole family was involved when
it came to matters regarding the old lady. Jun-seop had no choice
but to consent it. Every time he visited
his old mother from the city, he lavished gifts on villagers
for looking after his mother. Ipgwan: Placing the corpse in a casket Grandma… It’s time to give her your final gifts. Mother, remember when I cut your hair, I promised you I would return this? Here it is.
Wear this on your journey. Mom, if you miss me,
you can look at this. Mom, when you get to the other side,
I hope you meet dad and live happily ever after. I almost forgot! Grandma, I hope you
find your paradise. Okay? – Use this on your journey, okay?
– Grandma. Sister, take my sore back with you, too. And, take with you my aching knees. About a month ago, Mother handed this box to me and said she would like to take it
with her when she died. I found out that every leap year,
she set a date to visit three different temples
to collect these amulets. She believed that by doing so, she could
ward off evil and illnesses from her children. You know she was never
a religious person. But, she traveled from temple to temple, three in one day, every leap year,
to collect these. I still don’t know how she managed to walk through
such rough mountain routes. You all know she did it for us. Open it up and place them
next to her in the coffin. It must have taken her at least
a few decades to collect all this. I lived with her and still had no idea. She didn’t want to jinx the good luck
by showing it to anyone, and hid it. Grandma continued to grow smaller until one day, she became
a child smaller than Eun-ji. The way she talked and behaved was that of a small child. Grandma wanted to play games
Eun-ji had grown tired of. She became whiney. And, she broke Eun-ji’s favorite toys. Young lady! Eun-ji. What’s going on? Grandma has looked after
you since you were born. And, she became a child
by giving you her age. Isn’t it time you looked after Grandma? Suddenly, Eun-ji realized that she owed everything to her grandma. She was ashamed for
having snapped at her. She finally understood that
she had to look after Grandma. One, two, three… Careful there. Such short walking sticks. We’re all sinners responsible for
our parent’s death and must stoop low. There’s a reason for everything. All of us here have sinned. And, you think this is
some cheap fashion show! Take off that tasteless dress
and change into mourning. I’m paying my respects to Grandma by wearing my own mourning, so lay off! Don’t you get it?
This is how I do things. Do you hear yourself? I was glad you came here
of your own will and was able to let certain things go. But, Grandma will turn over in her
grave if she saw you in that outfit. Why are you so damn selfish all the time? That coming from a person
who cut off all her hair and locked her in her own room! What? Do you forget that this is a funeral? Hold your tongues until this is over! You and Yong-sun s
hould both know better! Yeongjwa, Binsoseolchi:
Setting up a funeral parlor Dad, sorry I’m late. I know I can do much better than this. What are those dogs sniffing around for? They get bored, too, like us.
Why don’t you go ask? How important is Yong-sun
in her family history? Why have you never mentioned
her in your books? That Yong-sun… I feel she has a lot of
resentment against you. Does she feel you didn’t
properly take care of your mother? Could be. I never took her under my roof. But, there is another reason. I’m looking for Mr. Lee Jun-seop. Yong-sun, what are you doing here? It was my first time seeing her
after she left home without a word. I heard you won a prize for your novel. Was the prize really five million won? Who told you? My roommate is a bookworm. I was working for a magazine
earning a meager salary and was feeling mostly sorry for myself. I spent many days getting
drunk on cheap alcohol. But, I got lucky and they awarded me, a no-name writer, a prize,
which ended up causing more problems. I’ve never had sweet
and sour pork before. I actually have a favor to ask you. There’s a new bar called ‘Paradise’
opening up in Cheonho. It’s a great investment opportunity. And, a friend of mine wants me in. Could you lend me that prize money? I would pay back of course.
Within a year. That money is going into
building a new family home. Folks back home
desperately need a house. You know Grandma lives
in a tiny rented room. You’re not building the house right now.
I’ll pay you back within a year. What would you have done
if you hadn’t won the prize? You probably don’t want to
lend money to a bastard like me. You have no reason to. I shouldn’t have come. You sell the story of
your family’s hardships and become some big-shot writer. Why would you look twice
at a loser like me? I will never come to you
again for money. And, don’t you dare
mention me in your novels! Rock, scissors, paper! Kids, come over here. The feng shui expert is here! How terrible.
My condolences. Eo-dong! You’ve ruined the sauteed vegetables! How could you not tell the
difference between sugar and salt? Who’s going to eat this? That’s enough! Your shouting isn’t going to
change sweet to savory! This is Mr. Woo Rok,
the feng shui expert. Former school principal, village chief, and head of the village farm guild. We have our very own
experts in this village. For Jun-seop to have specially
invited you, you must be a master indeed. How do you plan on
locating the burial site? Your late ancestors will guide the way. But, ultimately, it will be up to the living to take
care of the grave in the long run. Feng shui merely follows such logic. Confucianism is definitely a secular religion.
In fact, more than a religion, it is a study and a set of
precepts we live by. In the Confucian view of the world, the only god that exists
is our dead ancestors. Taking good care of
your parents is a duty but once they’re dead, filial
duty becomes more of a religion. There is nothing more grand
and sincere than filial piety. That’s why Confucianism is
regarded as a religion. So, a funeral is the point of contact
between religion and the precepts. Traditionally, children had to mourn for
three years at their parent’s grave. If you think about the intricacies
of our funeral process, the person you respected
while they were alive becomes a figure of religious
worship after they’re dead. Ancestral rites are a form
of religious filial piety and the funeral is the most
solemn form of ancestral worship. I’ll tell Jun-seop
when he comes back. Sure. What? He followed the feng shui
expert to the mountains? A mourner is never
supposed to leave the house. I’m sure he knew what he was doing. He’s a novelist,
not an expert on funerals. I’m sure he left because
there are not that many guests and he wanted some fresh air. Could you get me some water? Well, look who’s finally
graced us with her presence! I came to fetch a glass of water. I know you’re on phone duty
and haven’t wet your hands once, but I hope you look around and learn. There are eyes watching. Roll up your sleeve and at least
pretend that you’re working! What with a celebrity novelist in the family,
I thought their would be more guests than this! Who is going to eat all this food? Actually, My husband hates inconveniencing other people. So, he didn’t contact that many. His mother has died.
Can’t he let go of his pride just this once? I have no idea why mother
has to be so harsh on you. You pay the money for her to build
a room next to the bathroom for Grandma and she uses it to buy herself
a closet inlaid with mother-of-pearl. You pay the money for her
to install a gas boiler and she uses it to
build a new kitchen sink. How many times have you
paid for her new gas boiler? She’s taken enough money
from you with Grandma as an excuse. You’ve done more than enough. She has no right to torment you like this. By the way, when do you think my youngest son will
get a job at the publishing house? Jun-seop and I grew up together as kids! We were elementary school friends. I’m aware of that. So, what’s your take on Mr. Lee? Jun-seop is a real genius! You teach him one thing,
he understands ten! Wait, miss! I’m not done
with my story! That woman has no manners! Hey, you’re alive again! Big catch today? – Absolutely nothing!
– You got hammered last night. I’ve never blacked out
like that while drinking. I’m so embarrassed! He’s the best-known singer
in the village! He had a prior engagement elsewhere, but I mentioned your name
and here he is! I’m honored to be of service
to you and your family! Thank you for coming over. Funeral rites are a lot simpler
than they used to be. Let’s pay our respects at 9:00 and then once more at 1:00 a.m. – And, that should do.
– Thank you, once again. Su-nam, make sure Grandma… That old man is quite the lady-killer! He’s broken many hearts with his voice. Keep your eyes on your women! – You’re here.
– How’s it going? We were going to come earlier
but Gwang-jae was late. You know how he is. Did you come down here to fish
or to get wasted? Who told you? She was 87.
She lived a long life! Must be a load off your shoulders! She was my mother! Have some heart! Why don’t you just call it a party?
Bunch of idiots! Hey! Guys! Smile. I can’t smile,
but all of you should! Lighten things up around here! No funeral is complete
without a singer. The peaceful departure of the dead all depends on me and my songs. Sir, my grandmother had a rough life. Please sing her some good songs. A good singer must have
more than just a good voice. He has to convey
real human emotions. Every village has
its own funeral singer but only a few are truly
gifted in what they do. I need the toilet! 400km in seven hours?
My back is killing me. Why do they have to arrive all at once? Get ready to serve food to the guests. We’re all paying together. And, too many pallbearers.
Who should we pick? Mr. Choi is here with me as well. Here he is. – Thanks for coming.
– I wouldn’t miss it. This is my brother-in-law. – I’m sorry for your loss.
– Welcome. Good to see you. He’s a literary critic. He evaluates literary works. He’s very well known in his field. Even the greatest writers
are intimidated by him. Nice to meet you. – Likewise.
– Nice to meet you. Let me introduce Mr. Kwon Yeoung-gil,
branch manager of Nampo Bank. And, this is Mr. Kim
from Daedong Securities. Nice to meet you. Miss, you really are lovely. Back in the days, gisaengs were
summoned to noblemen’s funerals. Some took their last breath
listening to their songs. You really are beautiful. I need some more drink. Ladies! Bring us some drinks. I don’t believe this. He’s treating her
like she’s a gisaeng. I know. Look at all those cars.
They’re blocking the road. Another funeral at Jun-seop’s and
they’ll have to widen the road. Move your car!
Move it! Let’s go!
Move it! – It’s the county governor!
– And the general affairs manager! The governor is here!
Clear the table! Hurry up! What a mess. It’s nearly 9:00 and
the man has passed out. This isn’t good.
He’s dead drunk! Look, even the governor is here. It’s his first time here in a while. Don’t just stand there. Makes some room for the governor! – My condolences.
– Thank you for coming. You’ve always been a good son.
You must be devastated. Cut the crap and go have a drink! He can be so disrespectful… An extra 20 meters would act
as a seawall during storms. How difficult would it be to build it? People like us complain and you bureaucrats get together to talk the talk but never walk the walk. – It’s because of the budget
– You have no say in this! Why don’t you do something for once! I just want to play some cards! Where are you been?
Gwango! The new governor is an old classmate,
and I’ve asked him to put in a word about paving the main road to no avail. We’re a bit miffed. He used to send money
regularly for his mother and visit three to four times a year. I guess you might call that being a good son doing his duties. Are you going to play or not? If you are,
why are you still over there? Get your butts over here! – You’re here!
– Let’s go in. This is from Seo Jin-su. Could I have an envelope? Do you plan on drinking all night? I got it, I got it. Why do you keep
following us around? Get out of the kitchen. Why are you asking me these
sensitive questions, anyway? If you want answers,
go ask my mother in person! Back in the old days, people
used to diagnose a parent’s illness by dipping their finger in to
his or her feces and tasting it. They would bite into their finger
to offer their parents blood for nutrition and cut off their own flesh
to feed their parents if need be. Growing up as kids, whatever our parents told us,
we believed as absolute truth. Times sure have changed. There’s no such respect
for parents anymore! I find it unexpected. The villagers hold
conflicting opinions on you. Some have great respect for you
for making your hometown proud while some others don’t
really trust you. Why is that? With a fancy university degree, I should have become
a judge or a prosecutor. But, I’ve let them down
by becoming a writer. I see.
Look at all these people. Look at all the mourners
who’ve come! It’s a testament to you
being a great writer! Daddy! Mommy doesn’t like you
talking to this reporter lady. Here is Professor Baek. Oh, good. Could you
introduce me to him? We’ve met before,
but I don’t think he’ll recognize me. Phone for you. Hello?
Yes, Mr. Kim? – This is reporter Jang Hye-rim.
– Hello. – Where?
– You met her during an awards ceremony. Right. – Daejeon?
– You’re a good-looking woman. – Thank you.
– He’s busy at the moment. Could you call back in 30 minutes? – Come out for a second!
– Why? Kim Sang-sik from
Seoul wants to talk to you. I can’t pick up every
single phone call! Look, the guys want
more betting money. Honey! Give them some more money. How much? Just figure it out. Dementia is an illness. It occurs with the degeneration
of brain cells. The scary thing about this illness is it affects not only the individual,
but the entire family. Ronald Reagan, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s,
a form of dementia. He doesn’t even recognize
his secretary anymore. Even the president of America
is not immune to it. Five points! Double that. Ten! Pay up! Who are you? Get lost. We need more money. – Deal the cards.
– There’s no more money. – Let’s take a break.
– Deal the cards! Then bring us more money! Who is responsible for
getting him so drunk? Nobody is responsible
except his own self! I don’t believe this!
Father, lets go! Let him sleep a little.
He has to sing during the funeral. If you take him now,
who is going to sing? Listen, my father
could be the next one dead. I’m taking him home! – You can’t leave!
– Let me go! Shake it properly! Quit tossing it flat
and throw it properly! How’s that? Huh? You’re out! Out! You can’t drop it while you shake it! What are you laughing at?
What are you looking at? Get on with it! So, what’s going on? – He can’t make it, either.
– What? He can’t? Why not?! There’s a funeral in that village as well. What are we going to do! Of all people, you had to
pick a drunk and ruin everything! I know a good voice if I hear one. – I’ll just do it.
– What? You’re going to sing? Chogyeong: Seven to nine in the evening Is it 9:00? It’s time for the ritual.
Get the pallbearers! Stop playing yut and come on down! Guests from Seoul, gather outside! It’s 9:00 in the evening! It’s 9:00 in the evening! Is that the loudest you can do?
Are you all starving to death? You have to be louder than that! We’ll do it again.
Let’s start again! Folks from Seoul,
you’re not in a karaoke room. – No humming!
– He is doing great! He knows what he’s doing! From the top! Gwanam bosal. Gwanam bosal. When will we see you again?
Tell us when you’ll be back. Gwanam bosal. The mountains are high… Eun-ji, now in her 4th year
of elementary school is enjoying her fourth winter holiday. Grandma was so small now that
Eun-ji could not play with her anymore. However, no matter
how childish she was, mom and dad took great care of her. How much smaller will she get? If she gave away all of her age, what would happen to Grandma, then? Eun-ji was deeply worried. Once she has given
you all of her age, she becomes a baby again. Once she gets as small
as she can get, so small… Grandma won’t be around anymore. She will leave us for the next world. Dad’s words were precisely
what Eun-ji had dreaded. He was telling her
that she was going to die. Eun-ji told herself
that she would no longer take away Grandma’s age from her. Eun-ji, my darling, you are a sweet child
with a big heart and you don’t want Grandma to die. But, even if she leaves us one day, she will always leave
a part of her with us. The only thing that’s
disappearing is her body, but her soul will one day
come to life again in the form of another beautiful baby. Eun-ji imagined a caterpillar
transforming into a pretty butterfly by emerging from its cocoon. But, Eun-ji wasn’t sure
if everyone was born that way and whether Grandma would be
reborn one day as well. She needed to be certain. However, not all souls
of those departed can be reborn into a new person. The only souls who can return to life are the people who have done
many good deeds during their lifetime. Eun-ji was now curious when Grandma would
come back and what she would look like. She wondered if she would recognize the baby with her grandma’s soul. When Eun-ji heard her dad explain that she won’t be able
to see when and how her grandma comes back to life,
it worried her even more. During the Korean War,
when the country was torn in half, there was combat around here as well. Someone from,
I forget which side, died and his dead body, unclaimed,
was laying on the street. Everyone freaked out
and avoided the corpse. Nobody dared remove the body. Right then, that woman
calls me over and says the killer and everyone
ignoring his dead body are equally evil and asks me
to help her move the it. I panicked at the time. I didn’t want to get into
trouble by risking anything. So, there I was, being all
indecisive and she shouts, ;You’re just like the rest of them!
Don’t you even dare come to my funeral!’ Then, she sets off to remove
the corpse on her own. How could I not follow? We carried the body and
buried it in the mountains. She was a tough one,
that old woman. My mother was the best
woman there ever was. During the famine,
she never once refused a beggar. She invited them all into the house and sat them down
with her own family. Those beggars with teeth
rotting out of their skulls would dip their dirty spoons
into the stew bowl and we’d all gag, especially Jun-seop who’s
always had a weak stomach. At the risk of her own kids starving, she always offered everyone a feast. My husband was a bit of a thug
back in the day and he drove me crazy. Once, I wanted to teach him a lesson, so I packed my belongings
and left for my mother’s house. But, she didn’t even let me
sit down to take a breath. I begged her to let me
stay for just one night. But, she walked me to
the outskirts of the village, and stood there, waving at me
to go back to my own home. I still remember her waving, and
I wasn’t sure if she was beckoning me or waving me away to go home.
I still remember it like it was yesterday. – I am the dead woman’s son-in-law.
– Hello. You all look like aspiring writers. We are. If you want to write, you should at least be
as good as my brother-in-law. In my opinion, he should win the Nobel Prize
for Literature. – Bedtime for him.
– He should be the first Korean to… 750,000 won, my entire fortune. Let’s do another round. Let’s stop here. What? It’s a game.
Don’t take it so seriously. Yeah! Take it easy. We want to have fun,
not to go bankrupt. – Shut up, you half-sack!
– What did you just call me? A half-sack! You must be.
Isn’t that why your wife left you? Have you seen my balls?
Have you? Hey! You! That dick better keep his mouth shut. Bastard! What’s wrong with you, mister? If you like me,
say it to my face. You’re a fiery one! Lay off, will you? What a loser! Who are you, anyway? I am Lee Jun-seop’s niece! – What? Cat got your tongue?
– Stop it. That’s enough. Stop. – Why are you taking that money?
– Move! Let’s go to a motel and continue. Let’s just stay here. – Come on, get up!
– Fine, we’re coming. How much? He took a bunch of envelopes. You have it all on record, right? I’ve only written down their names. I don’t know how much
was in the envelopes. It doesn’t matter as long as
you’ve gotten the correct names. He can’t do this, can he? Don’t worry.
It’s my debt to pay off. The traditional family
rite standards have become so simplified that the funeral
proceedings are over before you know it, and the actual funeral is
all about burying the corpse. The ritual ceremony has merely become a party where people
gather to get drunk! You’re going to get ill. Leave it up to your brothers
and get some rest. Traditionally, children
mourned for three years. But, who does that these days? I’ve seen some take off
their mourning after three days. These days, a year of mourning – is as good as it gets.
– Thanks for coming, Kim. We pushed to get it published
before the end of the funeral. Thank you. Mother, consider this
as my apology to you for not having been a better son. – This is all I have left.
– We’re done here. Just because you won a few rounds! My winnings, okay? Are you showing off? You jerk! Don’t stop the fight! Someone needs to slap
some sense into him. He deserves to get beaten up! Samgyeong: Eleven in the evening
to one in the morning It’s 11:00 in the evening! No way he can sing in that state! It’s 11:00 in the evening! 11:00 in the evening! Let’s have some fun!
This is the final night! Let’s play! Have some fun! What are all those things? She’s never even
seen them in her life! Look at you all drunk! You should be ashamed of yourself! Move out of the way! Why? Because my mother
was a prostitute? What’s so great about you all, anyway? He wrote some good stuff
about you in his novel, but the reality couldn’t
be further from the truth! Stop kidding yourselves! Yeah he’s a famous novelist
and he wrote plenty about this family, but none of you really
took good care of Grandma! So, don’t tell me what to do
and what not to do! Now you’ve crossed the line! I’ve tried my best to
not say anything, but I can’t listen to you anymore. You think you’re the only
one who cared about her? Where were you in her darkest hour? We’ve all made mistakes,
but we all cared. Grandma gave you all she had.
What have you done for her? Are you going to keep complaining? Would Grandma want that? We all loved her, but it’s been tough for all of us! Grandma was now a baby
who couldn’t even talk. Like a baby in her mother’s womb, she curled up like a fetus and slept night and day
for several days. However, Eun-ji did
not look at Grandma as being ugly or strange in the least. To be reborn as a baby, Grandma was getting ready to
say goodbye to Eun-ji’s family. It broke Eun-ji’s heart to think she would never see Grandma again. She wanted Grandma
to stay where she was, with her and her family in their home. She can’t stay with us forever because she just
loves you too much. You know that everyone
gains wisdom when they get older, right? Once you’re filled with that wisdom, you want to share it
with those you love. Grandma had so much wisdom in her that she had to share it with others. According to dad, grandma shared her age and wisdom and became a baby
to leave our family, because her soul was about to be reborn
from all that love. Hey, there. This is the bier that will
carry your mother’s coffin. Not just any bier!
It’s the best that you can get. How about fuel?
It’s asking for it. This baby doesn’t run on gas! It runs on love! You’re the only person
I can go to for cigarettes. Sure. Are you familiar with rain birds? They don’t have their own nests, so whenever it rains, they
fly from one tree to another and crow. What curious birds… It’s a bird that appears
in your uncle’s novel. On rainy evenings, your grandmother
would listen to the cries of the rain bird and would wonder out loud
about the bird’s sad fate and would fret about a certain family member
who left home to earn a living. She would worry whether that person would
have a roof over her head in the rain. To provide comfortable
refuge for the birds, she would take great care of
the trees in her front yard and would sprinkle
seeds around them. I’m sure there is a degree
of truth in that story. But, for an old woman suffering from
dementia, her intentions seem too deep. A novelist reveals his innermost
thoughts through his characters. Not that a novel is a true
reflection of reality. A novel is more like
an excuse for one’s life. It’s your uncle’s first fairy tale.
Want to read it? A pasqueflower is a tagger
that counts springs – Pay up.
– I will! Pay up, now! Fine, fine!
You can have my watch. Give that to your boy.
I can get that for 5,000 won at the market. That’s it?
No way! I want cash! Yeah? Well, I’m kind of in a rush to go. We have to leave now. – The family is…
– Bastard! The funeral procession is about to leave. – We’re not done here.
– Sit back down. This man has to be at the funeral. Who are you?! Get lost! Come on! Hurry!
We’re late! Hey! You! – You’re staying.
– Tone it down! They don’t know when to stop! – Let’s start.
– You stop right there! He left his cheap
watch and didn’t pay! – What?
– Over there. He looked well-mannered. They come to pay their respects and instead bring girls to a motel! What a sight!
You bunch of morons! Getting drunk and
arriving late to a funeral! Have you lost your minds? Is this how you’re going to behave
when your parents pass away? Unbelievable! Barinje: Memorial service before the funeral
bier departs from the home of the deceased Mother, enjoy your last meal.
Eat your fill. We’ve prepared your favorite vegetables and meat.
Enjoy it before you go. Cheongu: Moving the casket from
the funeral parlor to the main house – Gwanambosal.
– Goodbye, my beloved. When will we meet again? Noje: Memorial service held
at the gate of the deceased’s home Help yourselves. Gwanambosal! Gwanambosal!
Gwanambosal! Gwanambosal! – Gwanambosal!
– Our hearts are with you. – Gwanambosal!
– Always with you. Many a friends you may have,
but they must stay. Many a relatives you have,
but they cannot go with you. She’s been through so much in this lifetime.
She’s finally leaving it all behind. Mother nature is just dawning,
while our youth is slowly waning. Oh, tender youth,
do not mock the old, for yesterday I was as green as a warm spring day,
and now I’m in the winter of my life. One fine spring day, Grandma, waking from her deep slumber, gazed out the window
with a smile on her face. She seemed ready at last to leave Eun-ji and her family
for her next long journey. 80 years, gone with the spring breeze. I’m the wind, the fertilizer, the rain and snow. Hagwan: Lowering the casket
into the ground – Gwanambosal! Gwanambosal.
– Gwanambosal Gwanambosal. – Always in our thoughts.
– Gwanambosal, gwanambosal. – Forever in our hearts.
– Gwanambosal, gwanambosal. – Gwanambosal, gwanambosal.
– Always in our hearts. Shilto: Covering the casket with soil Dad said Grandma gave away the last of her age today. Eun-ji saw her Grandma’s soul peacefully drift off
with the last of her breath. The sight of her
Grandma’s small frame laying there peacefully reminded Eun-ji of her old days
and it filled her with great sadness. Grandma’s soul danced off
into the distance like a white butterfly
gracefully dancing in the breeze. Eun-ji could only hope that her soul would find life again
in the prettiest little baby the world has ever known. Thank you, Grandma.
Goodbye. The wisdom you have
shared with me, I will cherish always. And, one day when I grow up, I will share the same
wisdom with newborns just like you have done with me. Eun-ji made a deep promise to herself. A pasqueflower is a tagger
that counts springs Banhon: Calling on the spirit
of the deceased back to his or her home Chouje: The first memorial
service after the funeral Mother! My dear mother! How could you leave us like this? It breaks my heart so. Mother! My dear mother! All I wanted was to share the rest
of our lives together in this home. Eun-ji, where are the kids?
It’s time for a photo. – They went to the beach!
– The beach? – Go and fetch Yong-sun.
– Yeah? Uncle Jun-seop is looking for you! Straighten your gowns. What’s with the photo-taking session? Say, ‘cheese!’ Kimchi! Say, ‘kimchi!’
Smile, everyone. Jun-seop! We can’t smile,
but you should. Someone die? Korean Film Archive presents
Korean captions and English subtitles are sponsored by Google
Translations and subtitles by Free Film Communications