The Way Home
November 15, 2002
A film that deals with family and how traditional ways can help bring peace and a sense of history to a younger generation, The Way Home is the story of a young South Korean boy who is sent to live with his aging, mute grandmother in a remote mountain village. Seven-year-old Sang-Woo is a bratty, selfish boy who is more interested in video games and toys than the struggles of his single mother to provide the most basic necessities for her and her son, and is resentful of being taken away from his activity-filled life while his mother hunts for work. The boy finds simple country life boring and ridiculous, not to mention lacking in what he considers essentials, such as candy and batteries for his Gameboy. But his grandmother’s loving patience shows him there is more joy to be had in this world than material things can bring, and the boy learns to be a better person from his grandmother’s example.
The film, which its director says is "dedicated to all grandmas", was featured at this year’s 2002 Toronto Film Festival, where it received mostly positive reviews. It is now scheduled for a limited release in New York and Los Angeles. One interesting note about the film: the woman who plays the grandmother was discovered by the director in the village where the film was shot. She had never even seen a film, much less acted in one, before taking on a lead role in this picture. Her performance has been widely praised, and makes for an intriguing reason to seek out this film. (Stephanie Star Smith/BOP)