Yu Hyun-mok

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Yu Hyun-mok was a highly acclaimed South Korean film director who made significant contributions to the Korean film industry during the 1950s and 1960s. Known for his realistic and socially conscious films, Yu Hyun-mok tackled various topics such as poverty, war, and the struggles of the working class. His films often depicted the harsh realities of life in post-war Korea, shedding light on the social and political issues of the time.

Yu Hyun-mok’s directing style was characterized by his attention to detail, strong visual storytelling, and his ability to capture the raw emotions of his characters. His films not only entertained audiences but also served as a reflection of the society, provoking thought and initiating discussions. Yu Hyun-mok’s contributions to Korean cinema continue to be celebrated and appreciated, making him a revered figure in the history of Korean film.

Biography of Yu Hyun-mok


Born in 1925 in what is now North Korea, Yu began his career in the film industry in the 1950s, during a time of immense political and social turmoil in South Korea. Despite the challenges, he managed to create a distinct cinematic voice that resonated with audiences and critics alike. With his films, such as “The Descendants of Cain” and “Obaltan,” Yu captured the struggles and aspirations of ordinary people, shedding light on the societal issues of his time.

Throughout his career, he received numerous accolades, including the prestigious Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. Yu Hyun-mok’s contributions to South Korean cinema continue to inspire and shape the industry, making him a true pioneer and a revered figure in the world of filmmaking.


Film Career of Yu Hyun-mok

Yu Hyun-mok was a renowned South Korean filmmaker whose career spanned over four decades. He is considered one of the pioneers of Korean cinema and a master of realism in filmmaking. Yu began his career in the 1950s, during a time of political and social unrest in South Korea. His early works focused on the struggles of ordinary people and the harsh realities of post-war society. His films often depicted the lives of the working class and explored themes of poverty, inequality, and injustice.

Yu’s unique storytelling style, combined with his ability to capture the nuances of human emotions, earned him critical acclaim both domestically and internationally. His notable works include “The Descendants of Cain” and “Obaltan,” which are regarded as masterpieces of Korean cinema. Yu Hyun-mok’s contributions to the world of filmmaking have left an indelible mark on Korean cinema, inspiring generations of filmmakers to explore social issues and push the boundaries of storytelling.


His films were widely recognized and received numerous awards both nationally and internationally. Among his prestigious accolades, he won the Best Director award at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival in 1963 for his film “Obaltan,” which also won the Best Film award at the same festival. Additionally, Yu Hyun-mok was honored with the Best Director award at the Baeksang Arts Awards in 1964 for his film “The Extra Mortals.” These awards showcased his exceptional talent and mastery in storytelling, cinematography, and directing. Yu Hyun-mok’s recognition through these awards solidified his position as a trailblazer in Korean cinema and immortalized his contributions to the art form.

Filmography of Yu Hyun-mok

Yu Hyun-mok was a prominent South Korean film director who made significant contributions to the country’s cinema. He began his career in the 1950s and continued to create films until his death in 2009. Known for his realistic and socially critical approach, Yu explored various themes such as poverty, war, and social inequality. Some of his notable works include “The Aimless Bullet” (1961), a film that exposed the corrupt nature of the ruling class. Yu’s filmography showcases his talent for capturing the harsh realities of Korean society and has left a lasting impact on the country’s film industry.

The Crossroad 교차로 Gyocharo 1956
The Lost Youth 잃어버린 청춘 Irobeorin Cheongchun 1957
The Life Seized 인생차압 Insaeng Chaab 1958
Forever With You 그대와 영원히 Geudae-wa Yeongwon-hi 1958
Beautiful Woman 아름다운 여인 Areumda-un Yeo-in 1959
Even the Clouds Are Drifting 구름은 흘러가도 Gureum-un Heulleogado 1959
The Aimless Bullet 오발탄 Obaltan 1961
To Give Freely 아낌 없이 주련다 Akkim Eobsi Juryeonda 1962
Great hero, Yi Sun-Sin 성웅 이순신 Seong-ung Yi Sun-sin 1962
Daughters of Pharmacist Kim 김약국집 딸들 Kim Yakkuk Jip Ttaldeul 1963
The Blue Dream shall Shine 푸른 꿈은 빛나리 Pureun Ggum-eun Bitnari 1963
Extra Human Being 잉여인간 Ingyeo Ingan 1964
Wife’s Confession 아내는 고백한다 Anae-neun Gobaekhanda 1964
Sleep Under The Blue Star 푸른 별아래 잠들게 하라 Pureun Byeolarae Jamdeul-ge Hara 1965
An Empty Dream 춘몽 Chunmong 1965
Martyr 순교자 Sungyoja 1965
Secret Marriage Operation 특급 결혼작전 Teukgeup Gyeolhon Jakjeon 1966
Sun will rise again 태양은 다시 뜬다 Taeyang-eun Dasi Ddeunda 1966
Guests Who Arrived on the Last Train 막차로 온 손님들 Makcharo On Son-nim-deul 1967
Three Henpeck Generations 공처가 삼대 Gongcheoga Samdae 1967
Han 한 Han 1967
Arirang 아리랑 Arirang 1968
Han 2 한 2 Han 1968
Descendants of Cain 카인의 후예 Kain-ui Huye 1968
I’ll Give You Everything 몽땅 드릴까요 Mongddang Deuril Kkayo 1968
Yeo 여 A Woman 1968
Nightmare 악몽 Akmong 1968
School Excursion 수학여행 Suhak Yeohaeng 1969
I Would Like to Become a Human 나도 인간이 되련다 Nado Ingan-i Doe-Ryeonda 1969
Two husbands 두여보 Du Yeobo 1970
Bun-Rye’s Story 분례기 Bunlyegi 1971
Flame 불꽃 Bulkkot 1975
The Gate 문 Mun 1977
Once upon a time, Hweo-oi Hweo-i 옛날 옛적에 훠어이 훠이 Yetnal Yetjeok-e, Hweo-oi Hweo-i 1978
Rainy Days 장마 Jangma 1979
A Song Everyone Wants to Sing Together 다함께 부르고 싶은 노래 Dahamggye Bureugo Sipeun Norae 1979
Son of Man 사람의 아들 Saram-ui Adul 1980
Ruinded Reeds 상한 갈대 Sanghan Galdae 1984
Mommy, Star, and Sea Anemone 말미잘 Malmijal 1995



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