Current user rating: 90/100 (28 votes)
- Movie: Re-encounter
- Revised romanization: Hyehwa, Dong
- Hangul: 혜화,동
- Director: Min Yong-Keun
- Writer: Min Yong-Keun
- Producer: Shim Yun-Woo
- Cinematographer: Na Hee-Suk
- World Premiere: October 2010 (Pusan International Film Festival)
- Release Date: February 17, 2011
- Runtime: 108 min.
- Genre: Drama
- Distributor: Indiestory
- Language: Korean
- Country: South Korea
Hye-Hwa (You Da-In) works as an assistant to a veterinarian. Hye-Hwa spends a lot of her time saving abandoned animals. If the dogs are not adopted Hye-Hwa takes the dog home. One day, while Hye-Hwa is out trying to save a dog she sees Han-Soo (Yoo Yeon-Seok) standing in front of her.
Five years ago, Hye-Hwa and Han-Soo were a couple in love. At the young age of 18, Hye-Hwa became pregnant and dropped out of school. Hye-Hwa and Han-Soo made plans to start a family, but Han-Soo suddenly disappeared without warning. Hye-Hwa is told by Han-Soo's mother that Han-Soo left for Canada.
Hye-Hwa felt completely abandoned. When it was time for Hye-Hwa to go in labor, she was terrified and experienced difficulties in giving birth. Hye-Hwa woke up with her mother sitting next to her hospital bed. Hye-Hwa's mother tells her that the baby died of heart failure.
Now, five years later, Han-Soo is back and stands in front of Hye-Hwa. Han-Soo then drops a bombshell. Han-Soo tells Hye-Hwa that their baby didn't die and was actually adopted. As evidence, Han-Soo shows Hye-Hwa a document with Hye-Hwa's signature stamp giving permission for the adoption. Han-Soo also shows Hye-Hwa a picture of their baby when it was born.
Additional Cast Members:
Q&A with dir. Min Yong-Keun
Q&A took place after a screening of "Re-encounter" at the Dong-Sang Art Hall in Daegu, South Korea (April 1, 2011). AsianWiki editor Ki Mun was there and transcribed/translated the session.
- Audience Question: Do you like dogs? Because dogs seemed to appear in every scene.
- Min Yong-Keun: I made a documentary of a person who takes care of abandoned dogs. That's probably related and I also do like dogs, but now i don't have a dog because I'm single.
- Audience Question: You wrote the screenplay and directed the movie. Everything in the movie seemed empty to me. Can you explain a little bit about your background and growing up?
- Min Yong-Keun: I was born in 1979 in Seoul. In the 6th grade of elementary school I stole small things in stores. When I was about to graduate from elementary school, i tried to steal from a large bookstore, but i was caught. After that I stopped shoplifting. I think I felt lonely and empty because my mother started to work at that time. During my later school days, i felt more comfortable being alone. My personality also changed after making a documentary for television.
- Audience Question: What's the meaning of the movie title "Hye-Hwa, Dong'"?
- Min Yong-Keun: (Chinese character for the word "dong" can be spelled in various ways to represent different meanings) I thought "dong" is a child, but some people asked whether "dong" is winter and some people asked whether "dong" means moving. I skipped the use of the Chinese character for dong to leave this open to interpretation.
- Audience Question: The ending parts of the movie goes back to the character of Han-Soo. Can you elaborate on that?
- Min Yong-Keun: Hye-Hwa can not forgive him easily. They do share experiences from the past so they can talk to each other. It means starting for them. In the original scenario, Hye-Hwa goes forward and Han-Soo fades away, but later I thought of Hye-Hwa's side. Someone who experienced being abandoned wouldn't ignore someone going through the same thing.
- Min Yong-Keun: Yoo Da-In (main actress) mentioned that when she watched the movie she felt lonely, but by the end of the movie she felt consoled. Directors at first can't watch their movies ... only hear reaction of the audience. I can't watch my movies the way the audience can.
- Audience Question: I heard on a radio interview the other day that you like the name "Hye-Hwa" and would name your future daughter Hye-Hwa?
- Min Yong-Keun: In the second grade of middle school I often went to Daehangno and to get there I needed to get off at Hyehwa station. I always liked the sound of "hwa", so I decided to name my future daughter that. When I wrote down the original screenplay for this movie I thought of using that name for the movie. The image of the main character resembles the sound of Hyehwa.
- Audience Question: There seem to be lots of meaning behind being "abandoned" in the movie?
- Min Yong-Keun: Hye-Hwa is cured by taking care of abandoned dogs. I do not have personal experiences in being abandoned, but through indirect experience from making documentaries. One documentary is about a woman who takes care of abandoned dogs. Another documentary I made is about elementary school students in a village on a island. Most of those kids were abandoned.
- Audience Question: The main actors haven't worked in a lot of movies yet, but their acting seemed natural. What did you ask them to do for their performance?
- Min Yong-Keun: You Da-In's real-life personality is similar to the character of Hye-Hwa. Yoo Yeon-Seok's real-life personality is opposite to to his character of Han-Soo. Yoo Yeon-Seok likes to talk and is a well raised young man, but when he acts his eyes get different. You Da-In needed time to be Hye-Hwa. Once she got there she was so into it. Yoo Yeon-Seok understands the character well, he acts well. I asked both of them to not express what they felt inside. Let the audience feel that. I also asked You Da-In many times not to blink, because the camera usually used close-ups. I even asked her not to blink when riding the moped (without a helmet) in the middle of winter.
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