Seen in Jeonju

Director Profiles: Lee Han-wook

12th October 2009

lee hanwookDirector Lee Han-wook was born on September 8, 1932 in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province. He graduated from the Department of English Literature at Jeonbuk University and began his career in the film industry by directing the action movie No Way to Go Ahead in 1964.  It was the story of a  man, played by Park No-shik, fighting the Japanese on the island of Bagio in the Philippines at the end of the Second World War. The movie was a rare co-production between Korea and the Philippines.  His second film was also made in 1964, a melodrama entitled Sad Movie (in no way related to the more recent film of the same name). Creating no films in 1965, Director Lee came back strong in ‘66 with three anti-communism action films–The Great Escape, The Red Line, and The 76th Prison Camp.  These were followed by one more war film, this one about the Korean War, called The Imjin River in 1967.

What happened next is a mystery for there is a ten year gap in Lee Han-wook’s filmography. However, he resurfaced in the movie industry in 1978 with a melodrama called Floating Weeds about life, love and death in the circus. Despite the somewhat unlikely premise of the film, Floating Weeds won a prize at the Korean Performing Arts Awards. But that was the last the film industry heard from Lee Han-wook. For whatever reason, Lee stopped making movies and he left no traceable record after 1978. His ultimate fate is unknown

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