To The Last Day

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To The Last Day
Film info

Director: Shin Sang-ok
Cast: Choi Eun-hee, Kim Jin-kyu, Nam Koong Won, Shin Seong-il, Kim Hye-jeong
108 mins, 1960

Captain Kim is grievously wounded in the first days of the war. When the northern troops continue their advance, his wife and small daughters flee south to Taegu, dragging him along in a sledge. His wife struggles to keep herself and their surviving daughter alive. Working as a market trader, she meets a kind young man -- who happens to be tall, dark and handsome.

This is the most difficult film Shin Sang-ok tackled in his long and varied career. Questions of wounded veterans – in this case, one who will certainly father no more children -- the fate of refugees, and the hardships of war widows are presented in melodramatic fashion. That doesn't really seem to blunt the realism and shock of what the characters endure. The film was awarded a special jury prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 1962.