Synopsis by Josh Ralske
After the success of the modern-day comic martial arts epic Arahan, writer/director Ryu Seung-wan changed gears and again teamed up with his brother, actor Ryu Seung-beom, to produce Crying Fist, a much more serious boxing drama. Actor Ryu plays Yu Sang-hwan, a street thug who rejects the life of his hard-working, struggling father for a life of petty crime and run-ins with the law. He winds up in a juvenile detention center, where he responds to some bullying by flying at the bully, Roc (Kim Su-hyeon), and biting his ear off. Yu is then taken under the wing of the prison's boxing trainer, and he learns a bit of self-discipline through boxing, gradually recognizing his own strengths, and eventually acknowledging the support of his caring family. Meanwhile, 40-year-old Kang Tae-shik (Choi Min-sik of Oldboy), is a washed up former champion whose home and professional life have completely fallen apart. His wife leaves him, taking their young son. Besieged by creditors, Kang earns a meager living by charging people on the street for the privilege of punching him out. In danger of losing his son forever, his own health deteriorating rapidly, Kang decides to enter one last boxing competition, the same one which the equally desperate Yu has chosen to show his mettle. Crying Fist won a FIPRESCI Award at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, and had its North American premiere at Subway Cinema's 2005 New York Asian Film Festival, with director Ryu in attendance.