Chunhyang

OK, here’s your chance to experience pansori, which was the subject of yesterday’s post. The movie Chunhyang, which was released in 2000, is based on Chunhyangga (a traditional Korean legend). The story, which is set in Korea in the 1700s, is narrated using pansori.

Here’s the plot: Chunyang, the daughter of a former courtesan, secretly marries Mongryong, who is the son of a governor. After the marriage, Mongryong is ordered to finish his education in Seoul, forcing him to leave behind his bride. While he’s gone, the new provincial governor becomes enamored with Chunhyang and makes advances toward her. Chunhyang remains true to her husband, even though it means suffering torture, imprisonment, and facing death.

If you read many reviews of this one, you’ll find them mixed. Some viewers can’t get past the “wailing” of the narrator. But if you can, this is a lovely story of commitment and a chance to experience some traditional Korean culture. One warning though, the movie does have some nudity after the couple are married as they are consummating their relationship.

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