Synopsis by Mark Deming
Set in 1963, Nae Maeumeui Pungguem/The Harmonium In My Memory tells the tale of Kang Su-ha (Lee Byung-heon), a 21-year-old novice schoolteacher who lands a job in the very small town of Sanri, mostly populated by illiterate families stuck in poverty, and with little interest in education. Add to this the fact that Kang is very nervous and clumsy in the extreme, and it's no wonder he has a hard time keeping his class in order. Kang makes the acquaintance of Yang Eun-hee (Lee Mi-yeon), a lovely young woman who is also on the school's faculty, and, though it takes a while, Kang eventually works up the courage to actually talk to her. However, Kang has an unexpected obstacle in this potential romance. One of his students, 17-year-old Yun Hong-yeon (Jeon Do-yeon), has a furious crush on Kang, and she isn't about to make it easy for him to him to pursue the woman of his dreams. The film was cited in the press for the fine performances of the three leads and the accurate recreation of Korea on the cusp of modernization.
crush, faculty, poverty, schoolteacher, student