Cheoljung, the chief chef of Okryugwan in North Korea, is separated from his younger brother in South Korea. One day, he was dispatched to make Pyongyang Naengmyeon, for the request of South Korea at the 2018 Inter-Korean Panmunjom Summit. At the same time, his younger brother is also attending as a South Korean entourage. Despite his old age, Cheoljung goes to the Panmunjom to make Pyongyang Naengmyeon which their mother used to cook for the family.
Can the theme of the division of the Korean Peninsula still be cinematically valid in this day and age? Pyeongyang Naengmyeon makes an attempt to renew the stagnant imagination with a pace that suits a short film alongside a specific narrative and clear temporal and spatial limitations. Its identity comes from the tenacity of creating and telling a cinematically intensive story based on the factual account in which North Korea brought a noodle maker to the inter-Korean summit held at Panmunjom to serve naengmyeon (cold noodles) to the attendees. The presence of actor Baek Il-seop, who celebrates his 60th debut anniversary this year, silently breathes a sense of time into the film. When his wrinkled and desperate face revives heavy emotions on the screen, the hard exterior of the audience’s heart is softened. [KIM Somi]
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