“My Love, Don’t Cross That River” is a documentary released in South Korea in 2014. The director spent 15 months recording the lives of a 98-year-old husband, Jo Byeong-man, and his 89-year-old wife, Kang Kye-yeol. The documentary tells the love story of the two who have been together for 76 years.
▼Elderly couple Jo Byeong-man and Kang Kye-yeol are still very sweet even though they were together for almost 76-years. Jo Byeong-man met his lifetime partner when he was 23-years-old. At that time, Kang Kye-yeol was only a 14-year-old girl. Who knew that holding her hand for the first time would end up 76 years together…
▼Grandma recalled that she was just an innocent 14-year-old child who knew not much about anything. Although she blushed in front of her future husband, he held her hands for a lifetime. Grandpa and grandma made this a habit. When they go out, they will always hold hands tightly. The elderly couple is still very much in love, and they are not shy to flash this in public.
▼Grandpa and grandma sweep the fallen leaves in the yard together, and although the two are nearly a hundred years old, they still play like children, throwing leaves at each other. Come winter, they make snowmen and throw snowballs at each other.
▼The two live in a small mountain village in Hoengseong County, Gangwon Province, South Korea. Their lives are simple and plain but very fulfilling. Grandpa loves to amuse grandma sometimes by dancing and strokes her cheek before going to bed, slowly falling asleep together.
▼Grandfather’s constant habit is to help grandma buckle the Korean clothing buckle, and even when grandma’s feet and knees are suffering from arthritis attacks, he is never reluctant to make his wife feel comfortable by massaging her knees.
▼Grandpa often gives small surprises by sending small flowers to grandma and praising her. His compliments to her never grew old.
▼The two will go to the hut together when grandma wants to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Grandma, who is afraid of the dark, asks grandpa to accompany her by singing, and grandpa does not hesitate to do so.
▼The children and grandchildren of the couple also generously shared the sweet behavior of the two. Such as, when grandma watched TV, grandpa would say: “I want to eat persimmon cake.” Grandma would rush out to buy persimmons, and when she came back would help grandpa eat the cake.
▼But the golden years are always the most ruthless. As the days go by, grandpa’s health is getting worse and worse. At this time, grandma took good care of him, feeding grandpa with food one bite at a time, helping him wash and comb his hair. When grandpa feels his stomach was uncomfortable, grandma would rub his belly, and grandma said: “It’s my turn to take care of you.”
▼Grandpa’s health continued to deteriorate every day, and the time he spent awake in the day was getting shorter and shorter. Finally, he was admitted to the hospital. The anxious grandma could only watch her husband being tortured by body pains helplessly, and she said to him: “It would be great if we could go together. Having been together for so long, we will not let each other stand alone.”
▼The family would not give up on grandpa just yet, but in the end, grandpa passed, leaving grandma alone. Grandma could not help but break down and cry. No one will gently touch her face anymore, and tell her: “You haven’t grown old at all, and you are still beautiful.”
▼On the day of the final farewell to grandfather, there was a heavy snowfall from the sky. It was the same as when the two were married, there was a haze and snowfall. Grandma prepared grandpa’s favorite clothes, and spoke at her husband’s grave: “It was just like when we were still walking together.”
During the couple’s years of being together, 76 years of undying love between grandpa and grandma, people remembered a sentence that grandma said in the film: “Grandpa is leaving soon, and I will follow him. Oh my god, if Grandpa is gone, I’ll have to live with this by myself.” It’s quite heart-breaking. Although the two have been separated forever, grandma still believes that they will be reunited again soon.
Here are the trailer and the movie:
My Love, Don’t Cross That River (trailer)
My Love, Don’t Cross That River (a movie with subtitles)