September 22

My Love, Don’t Cross that River (2014) Documentary

“100-year old Lovebirds” Byong-man Jo and Gye-yeul Kang, have been inseparable companions for the past 76 years. Living in their small home by the river, they wear traditional Korean clothes, go shopping at the local market, have picnics with neighbors, and enjoy dance parties. Every night they go to sleep holding each other’s hands. Observing this fragile couple for 15 months, director Mo-Young Jin acts as a fly-on-the-wall, capturing their twilight days with tender moments that reveal simple acts of affection–from a good-natured leaf fight to a gentle caress of the cheek. It was a blockbuster in its native Korea and the country’s biggest independent film of all time.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAqhhHr3g8w

Stream free on Tubi or for a small fee on Amazon, Vudu, Youtube and Google Play

Image credit: Wolf Kahn, Across the Lagoon II, Martha’s Vineyard, 1998, Oil on canvas 32 x 53 in, Museum Purchase with funds provided by the Armstrong Society for the Arts and the Museum Acquisition Fund

The title of the film, My Love, Don’t Cross That River refers to the residence of the film’s subjects near a river, but it is also a metaphor for the transition to the afterlife. The perennial nature of this journey finds parallel in the waning sunset across the lagoon in Wolf Kahn’s Across the Lagoon II, Martha’s Vineyard. In Kahn’s painting, the portrayal of the sun’s final, daily journey across the sky and its reflection in the water elicit a somber tone similar to the touching conclusion to the film.

Give us your thoughts on the film and any connections you made to the VBMA collections on social media.