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Beyond the Years

Im Kwon-taek
Chun nyun hack
South Korea 2007 / 106’

Im Kwon-taek's latest masterpiece, Beyond the Years, is the one-hundredth film of his highly prolific career. Contemplative and classically elegant, it reconfirms the director's excellence in portraying aspects of traditional Korean culture.

When former pansori drummer Dong-ho (Cho Jae-hyun) goes back to the village where he spent his childhood, everything looks different. The merchants and travellers have deserted the little town, and its liveliness has vanished. Haunted by the ghosts of his past, Dong-ho remembers the distant fifties when he was adopted by an itinerant musician (Im Jin-taek). He was raised as the brother of beautiful Song-hwa and taught the ancient art of traditional drumming. An unspoken love much stronger than the affection between siblings bound him to Song-hwa.

Using music and lyrics to express complex emotions, Director Im orchestrates a tale of everlasting love endowed with a rare purity and intensity. A quiet epic and an achingly beautiful meditation on love and longing, Beyond the Years paints a colourful portrait of an era, dressed in subtle melancholic tinges.

Toronto IFF 2007

Im Kwon-taek was born in Jangseong, South Korea. He directed his first feature, Farewell to the Duman River in 1962. In 2005 he was awarded an Honourary Golden Bear from the Berlin International Film Festival. He has directed one hundred films, including The Deserted Widow (73), Mandala (81), Gilsoddeum (86), General's Son (90), Sopyonje (93), Taebak Mountains (94), Chang (97), Chunhyang (00), Chihwaseon (02), which shared the best director prize at Cannes.

Selected filmography:

1962 Dumanganga jal itgeola / Farewell to the Duman River

1973 Jabcho / The Deserted Widow

1981 Mandala / A Buddhist Ascetic Mandara

1986 Gilsoddeum / Gilsodom

1990 Janggunui / General's Son

1993 Seopyeonje / Sopyonje

1994 Taebek Sanmaek / Taebak Mountains

1997 Chang / Downfall

2000 Chunhyang / The Story of Chun-Hyang

2002 Chihwaseon / Strokes of fire

2004 Haryu insaeng / Low Life

2007 Cheonnyeonhak / Beyond the Years