An assistant to a TV producer, eager to stay off his bad side, promises to convince her former professor, a famous but reclusive academic, to appear on their show, which helps locate long-lost persons. Who does grey-haired Professor Yun Suk-yung want to see agin more than anything? The answer to that question lies decades in the past.
1969 was a tumultuous year the world over, and South Korea was no exception. President Park Chung-Hee’s iron-fisted dictatorship has provoked a backlash among angry students, and trouble is brewing. Suk-yung and his comrades decide that Seoul is getting too tense, and embark on a summer retreat in the countryside, where they will help bring a rural village up to date with the modern world. But Suk-yung discovers pretty Suh Jung-in, the only local girl who shows no interest in the strikingly handsome student from a well-to-do family –- and that, of course, means he’s soon falling head over heels for her. Their bumpy courtship, however, is threatened by dark secrets that Jung-in hides about her family and their history in the village, secrets that will haunt the pair as the volatile political climate catches up with them.
A solid, richly visual romantic melodrama that perfectly captures a time and place gone by, and enhances the dramatic energy of the core love affair by fitting it squarely into a period social and political upheaval, Once in a Summer boasts great performances from its cast. Lee Byung-hun, who does double duty as Suk-yung then and today, previously made his mark in such efforts as JSA and of course A Bittersweet Life. The supporting cast, meanwhile, offers some fabulous performances, both comic and tragic, which when added to a great storyline, and wonderful production and music, make for something far more worthwhile than your average heartbroken tearjerker.
"Lee attracted 42,000 fans at his fan meeting held at the Tokyo Dome on May 3... 'A Summer Story' aka 'Once in A Summer' has fetched a $4 million export price because hallyu star Lee is the lead..." -KFC Cinema-
"While I was resting after 'A Bittersweet Life' I received a total of 110 scripts... they (directors) kept sending me scripts for action films, noir, mystery, thriller, things along the lines of 'The Big Swindle'. But after going through all that in A Bittersweet Life, I didn't even want to think about doing it all once again, so I focused my attention on Human Dramas, melodramas and the like." Interview of Lee Byung-Hun -TWITCH-
Director: Jo Geun-shik
Screenplay: Jo Geun-shik, Kim Eun-hee, Kim Eun-sook
Cast: Lee Byung-Hun
Producers: KM Culture Co.Ltd.
Distributor: KM Culture Co.Ltd.