Watch Old Partner
- 1 hr 18 min
Old Partner is a South Korean documentary film that showcases the story of an aging farmer and his ox that have spent their entire lives together. The captivatingly beautiful movie is directed by Lee Chung-ryoul and has garnered critical acclaim and several accolades for its honest and heartfelt portrayal of human-animal relationships.
The movie revolves around a 40-year-old ox, Sae-byeok, and its owner, 80-year-old Choi Won-gyun, who have been inseparable since the ox was a calf. The film takes the viewers on a journey through the duo's daily routine, their friendship, and the profound bond they share that has lasted over four long decades.
Set in a rural village in South Korea, the film delicately captures the simple lifestyle of the villagers, their traditions, and the fundamental values of life. Choi Won-gyun is a weathered farmer, who has spent his entire life tilling the fields with his trusted companion Sae-byeok. The ox has become an integral part of his life, and he shares a unique connection with the animal.
The film shows how the two are almost always together, whether it is plowing the land, transporting firewood, or just taking a stroll in the countryside. The bond between them is evident in the way they work as a team without any command, always on the same wavelength.
As Sae-byeok ages, Choi Won-gyun faces a difficult decision: whether to continue farming with his loyal companion or to retire him. However, the farmer is too attached to his trusted partner to let go easily, and he continues to work along with Sae-byeok despite the challenges that arise out of the ox's age.
The film is a poignant tribute to the essence of true friendship and the beauty of nature. It weaves together the farmer's tale with an evocative portrayal of the rural landscape and its inhabitants. The director has beautifully captured the mundane yet crucial moments of life, reminding viewers of the importance of connections in a world that often privileges materialistic achievements.
In many ways, the film is symbolic of the relationship between humans and the environment. Choi Won-gyun's connection with Sae-byeok harmonizes with nature, capturing the essence of the organic and sustainable way of life that embraces co-existence and respect for all living beings.
The documentary also highlights the plight of farmers in South Korea and the challenges that they face in maintaining their livelihood. It reflects on how modernization and urbanization have disrupted the traditional lifestyles of farmers and their communities, a poignant reminder to society of the importance of holistic living.
Overall, Old Partner is an incredibly powerful and poignant film that seamlessly blends tradition, nature, and human-animal relationships. Through the story of Choi Won-gyun and Sae-byeok, the film inspires viewers with its simplicity and truthfulness, leaving them with deep insights into the beauty of life and our connections with the world around us.