The Harmonium in My Memory

Watch The Harmonium in My Memory

"You never forget your first love!"
  • 1999
  • 7.2  (1,068)

The Harmonium in My Memory is a South Korean romantic drama film from 1999 directed by Lee Young-jae. The film stars Lee Byung-hun (playing Hong-yun), Jeon Do-yeon (playing Yoon-hee), and Jae-in Kim (playing Joon-sik). The story is based on a novel entitled The Accordion by Kong Joon-sang. The film is set in a small city in South Korea in 1961 and follows the life of a teenage boy, Hong-yun, who falls in love with his new teacher, Yoon-hee.

The film begins with Hong-yun as an adult who is now a professor, reflecting on his past, specifically the year he turned 17. It was the year that he met Yoon-hee, who was assigned to teach at his school. Hong-yun is a typical teenage boy, interested in girls and struggling with his grades. But when he sets his sights on Yoon-hee, his whole world changes. At first, he is struck by her beauty and grace but soon becomes attracted to her intelligence and kindness.

Yoon-hee is a young woman from the city who is new to the area. She is a dedicated teacher who is passionate about education and is determined to make a difference in her students' lives. She is also dealing with her own personal issues, having to leave her boyfriend in the city to take the teaching position. As Hong-yun's feelings for her deepen, Yoon-hee must navigate the complicated emotions that arise from their relationship.

Alongside the central love story, The Harmonium in My Memory highlights the beauty of small-town life in South Korea during the early 1960s. The film is visually stunning, with breathtaking shots of the countryside, the school, and the town. The cinematography and music work together to create a nostalgic, dream-like atmosphere that captures the essence of Hong-yun's memories.

Another key theme in the film is the importance of music, specifically the harmonium, in bringing people together. Hong-yun is an aspiring musician, and Yoon-hee helps him to hone his skills by sharing her own love of music with him. The harmonium becomes a symbol of their connection, and the music they create together is a powerful expression of their feelings.

Despite their different backgrounds and ages, Hong-yun and Yoon-hee begin to develop a deep connection, and their relationship blossoms into a tender romance. But their happiness is short-lived as they face challenges from both outside and within their relationship. The film explores the complexities of love, morality, and the sacrifices that one must make for the sake of others.

Overall, The Harmonium in My Memory is a touching and evocative film that captures the essence of young love and the power of memory. The performances by Lee Byung-hun, Jeon Do-yeon, and Jae-in Kim are outstanding, and the direction and production design are top-notch. The film garnered critical acclaim upon its release and has since become a classic of South Korean cinema. Anyone interested in romantic dramas or coming-of-age stories will be swept away by this beautiful and moving film.

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  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (1,068)