Documentary tops box office

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Documentary tops box office


A local documentary film featuring an elderly couple who have been together for 76 years topped the domestic box office on Thursday, pushing aside Hollywood blockbusters such as “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and “Interstellar.”

According to the Korean Film Council, “My Love, Don’t Cross That River,” featuring 89-year-old woman Kang Gye-yeol and her husband, 98-year-old Cho Byeong-man, attracted 65,609 moviegoers on Thursday alone.

The film has been seen by 420,116 people so far since its release on Nov. 27.

The news about the documentary topping the box office on Thursday is significant because documentary films have far fewer chances of being screened in theaters compared to commercial and blockbuster films.

In addition, when a documentary or an indie film attracts more than 100,000 people, the film is considered a hit, but the feature in question achieved more than that number seven days after its release, setting a record.

Unlike other documentaries, narration and interviews have not been de-emphasized. Instead, the director focuses on the couple’s life. Filmmaker Jin Mo-young told the media during a press day that he wanted to deliver a message about what real love means by following the elderly couple.

In order not to make it a tearjerker, the director also added that he did not include parts where the grandfather passes away and his funeral, but audience members who left reviews on major web portals said they could not watch the film without handkerchiefs because the love of the two struck a chord.

“Cross the River” metaphorically means death in Korean and, as inferred by the title of the film, the director depicts the old couple’s love before Cho faces death.

By Sung So-young
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