Boys and Bows

Coproduction: avanti media plus & Mijin Lee
Direction: Donghan Lee
Year: 2017
Duration: 52 Minuten (TV) / 60 Minuten (Kino)

Boys and Bows is the coming-of-age story of seven teenage archers in the South Korean rural province. Director Donghan Lee accompanied them for one year in their search for the perfect hits and created an intimate portrait.

Two hours away from Seoul, surrounded by paddy fields, the Byoungcheon Highschool is situated which trains an archer team with a long history. The school is a so-called third class school with a bad reputation. Equally unpopular is the archery, although South Koreans record considerable successes in the precision sport.

Even if the seven archers don’t get a lot of professional support, they are happy to draw their bow every school day from 9 am til 9 pm and to shoot up to 1000 arrows a day. Different to most teenagers in South Korea those boys don’t fulfil the dreams of their parents by attending a good college, but their own: to hit the perfect goal.

The film focuses on two protagonists: The 17-year-old rebel Kookhyun likes to irritate and is disciplined by the coach every day. Having a difficult family background he worked his way up from the bottom of the team. The 18-year-old Jeayup, who has always the same facial expression, is the ace of the Byoungcheon team, but he remains number two in his age class. Will he be able to overcome his sorrows and his rival with the help of his bow?

Director Donghan Lee, former social worker, accompanied the young athletes for one year to competitions and in everyday life. He creates a very personal portrait of the teenagers, their successes and failures and the impact of archery on their search for identity.