Old Partner (2008)
From first-time filmmaker Lee Chung-Ryoul comes an award-winning feature documentary, Old Partner, which broke box office records in Korea as the highest grossing independent film in Korean history. Old Partner is an eloquent, touching, yet gut-wrenching peek into the reality of Mr. Choi Won-Kyun and his relationship with his 40-year-old ox. In the backdrop of what seems to be a dying way of life for many farmers in modern-day South Korea, the old couple perseveres while his wife, Lee Sam-Soon, bickers and complains about her own unlucky fate. There is no denying that this particular ox is a beast of burden, but it is also cherished and loved as the old man's constant and dependable companion. The original Korean title of the film, Wonangsori, literally translates to sound of a cowbell read morewhich dominates the audio track throughout the 78-minute documentary as a constant reminder of the absence of any other sound in the rural landscape of their small town. The old man and his ox trudge along slowly, crippled, and with a quiet defiance throughout the film proving a love and loyalty that can only be shared by a man and his animal.