This movie was actually controversial in Korea, and even though it is currently the second highest-grossing film in the history of Korean cinema, the reviews weren't so great.
It follows one man, Deoksoo, through his life that spans from 1950s to present day Korea.
It is a good refresher course in Korean history, taking your through the Korean war, dictatorships, German mines, the Vietnam war, and stock market crashes - and Deoksoo has a place in all of that.
The real problem with this film is many people took it as propaganda. It is clearly showing how hard Koreans have worked and how much they have had to suffer, and shows Deoksoo as the 'every man.'
The movie is meant to make you extremely patriotic as a Korean and impressed by the Korean willpower as a non-Korean.
There is nothing wrong with celebrating what you've overcome in your past, but it felt fake to me - especially when the current president is the daughter of a past dictator. Making the past look "worth it" makes your dad's dictatorship look like it was good, right?
Director Yoon, however, said he intentionally excluded any political point of view in the film and "just wanted to talk about his father and his generation, who sacrificed themselves for their children" and "make a family movie that could be watched together by three generations."
Yoon said, "My father passed away when I was in college and I didn't have a chance to say thank you. I hope the film serves as the channel for communication between the old and young generation."