Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Choehuui jeung-in

The Last Witness

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A police inspector is investigating the murder of a brewery owner. His search leads him 25 years into the past, back to the Korean War, to the final stand made by a group of Communist partisans. In his 36th feature film in just ten years, director Lee Doo-yong violates all conventions: a non-conformist, melancholy loner of a detective, who identifies with the tragic fate of a former North-Korean fighter to the point of self-destruction; a corrupt justice system and an incompetent police force; rapes and sexual assaults – the censors lopped nearly an hour off the epic running time of Lee’s most daring film. Choehuui jeung-in was made in the winter of 1979-80, between the assassination of autocratic president Park Chung-hee and the subsequent dictatorship of Chun Doo-hwan, at an all-too-brief moment of hope that better days might come. It is a tough-minded odyssey through provincial South Korea, through rain and cold, filth and mud and bitter poverty; through the collective bad conscience of a society in which some strive greedily for power while others stay silent and thus complicit.

Lee Doo-yong

Republic of Korea 1980


155 min · Colour


Hah Myung-joong (Byeong-ho)
Jeong Yun-hui (Ji-hye)
Choi Bool-am (Ba-woo)
Hyun Kil-soo (Man-ho)
Han Hye-sook


Lee Doo-yong
Yoon Sam-yook
Director of Photography
Jung Il-sung
Ree Kyoung-ja
Kim Hee-kap
Sohn In-ho
Production Design
Kim Yu-jun
Kim Hwa-sik


Lee Doo-yong

Born in Seoul in 1942. Since 1970, he has directed more than sixty films in various genres. He initially made a name for himself with melodramas, but he is also known for action films and historical films. In addition to directing films, he works as a screenwriter and producer.

Filmography (selection)

1970 The Lost Wedding Veil 1971 My Older Brother 1972 I Will Give It All 1974 Manchurian Tiger · Returned Single-Legged Man 2 1975 Disarmament 1980 Choehuui jeung-in (The Last Witness) · Pimag (The Hut) 1982 The Trouble-Solving Broker 1983 Yeo-in-jan-hok-sa Mul-re-ya Mul-re-ya (Spinning The Tales Of Cruelty Towards Women) 1984 Jangnam (The Oldest Son) 1986 Mulberry · Naesi (Eunuch) 1989 Mulberry 2 1990 Road to Cheongsong Prison 1992 Mulberry 3 2003 A-ri-rang (Arirang) 2013 A Journey with Korean Masters

Produced by

Sekyeong Films
Seoul, Republic of Korea

World sales

Korean Film Archive
Seoul, Republic of Korea