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Beautiful, Costly Sacrifice: 'the Evergreen Tree'


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‘The Evergreen Tree’ is a classic movie set in the impoverished countryside of Japanese-occupied 1920’s Korea. I admire the zeal of the two main characters, who pass up college graduation to begin what they see as more pressing work in rural development. Yeongshin starts a school in a village church. Dongheok, who has fallen in love with her, returns to his family farm and sets up a farmer’s guild.


The harsh realities of colonial government, poverty and individual frailty slow the progress of the two idealists. The isolation and hard graft Yeongshin imposes on herself affect her health. Yet had she agreed to marry Dongheok and work alongside him, there would still have been awful challenges ahead; Dongheok’s married friend deserts the guild because of the anguish of seeing his wife and children short of food.


The full movie was put on YouTube by the Korean Film Archive. Thankfully, English subtitles are available.

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I hope it's available for watching outside Korea. On my screen there's a blue bar in Korean script you have to click to watch the movie. Then the subtitles toggle appears at the bottom of the screen. Warning: the English synopsis gives away too much of the plot, IMO. Edited by AnnieG
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Hi Annie,


I was able to access the video after signing onto my YouTube account, though instead of subtitles there is an English transcript available below. From your description it does sound like a film worth watching – thanks.
Edited by rivanna
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