Old Partner (image 1)

An enthralling character study of three main characters, one of whom happens to be an ox.

Michael Dunaway, Paste

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Old Partner 2008

Wyonang sori

Directed by Lee Chung-ryoul

Beautiful Korean doco about an old farming couple and the ox that has shared their lives and labours for 40 years. “A charming, heartbreaking, existential buddy tale.” — Sundance Film Festival

South Korea In Korean with English subtitles
77 minutes DVCAM

Director, Editor

Producer

Goh Young-jae

Photography

Ji Jae-woo

Sound

Kim Soo-duk
,
Jung Il-gwon

Music

Heo Hoon
,
Min So-yun

With

Choi Won-kyun
,
Lee Sam-soon
,
Ox

Festivals

Pusan 2008; Sundance, Sydney 2009

Elsewhere

“In a remote, verdant valley, old Mr and Mrs Lee live on a farm with their rickety ox. For forty years, the animal has served them faithfully – hauling untold firewood loads and dragging the plow through fertile fields. Old Partner playfully and poetically tells the story of the ineffable bond between Mr Lee and his ox as their lives wind down in tandem. Rain or shine, hunched and gnarled, Mr Lee tills, weeds, and harvests, often crouching on all fours like the ox that never leaves his side. The camera lingering intimately on the ox's kind eyes and creaky bones allows us to sense the depth of this sentient being's loyalty... In return, Mr Lee collects special fodder by hand and refuses to spray insecticides for fear of poisoning his beloved beast. Meanwhile, the cheeky Greek chorus, Mrs Lee, complains incessantly from the peanut gallery. This traditional life and this ox will be her undoing! A charming, heartbreaking, existential buddy tale, Old Partner conveys the almost mystical inextricability of humans and nature.” — Caroline Libresco, Sundance Film Festival