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[drama 2008] Der Yalu Fliesst / Yalu River Flows / Amnok River Flows 압록강&#51008

Guest huangsy

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Guest huangsy

[sBS] Shin Goo, Na Moon Hee, Choi Sung Ho, Hwang Bo Ra, Kim Bo Min
Title is Der Yalu Fliesst.

Debuts 14 Nov 2008.

3-episode drama.

Director : Lee Jong Han 이종한

Scriptwriter : Lee Hye Sun 이혜선

Cast : Shin Goo 신구, Na Moon Hee 나문희, Choi Sung Ho 최성호, Jeon Noh Min 전노민 (Mighty Chilwoo, Marrying the Mafia drama), Kim Bo Min 김보민 (Music Bank), Hwang Bo Ra 황보라 (Love Marriage, My Girl), Lee Cham 이참 (Bernhard Quandt), Jung Woon Taek 정운택, Kim Bo Yeon, Woo Byuk Song 우벽송

Cast list : http://wizard2.sbs.co.kr/resource/template...vMenuId=1009829

Official site : http://tv.sbs.co.kr/amnokgang/


Choi Sung Ho was cast because he can speak German !

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Guest huangsy


Based on novel by Lee Mi Reuk born in 1899 and passed away on 1950.

Yalu is the Chinese name for the same river known in Korea as Amnok.

The rocky backbone of Korea is fashioned from a long chain of

mountains that dominates the eastern half of the peninsula from its

northern borders on the Amnok and Tuman rivers almost to its southern


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Guest huangsy

Press Conference 10 Nov 2008

PD, Lee Jong Han







Choi Sung Ho


Na Moon Hee


Kim Yeo Jin



German actress,



Woo Byuk Song


Lee Cham (Bernhard Quandt)




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  • 2 months later...
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Guest kdramafanusa

Source: KBS 2008-11-10

Joint Korean-German Drama to Air


“Yalu River Flows (German title: Der Yalu Fliesst)” is originally an autobiographical novel written by Korean ex-pat writer Li Mirok. Now the novel has been turned into a TV series co-produced by Korea’s SBS and Germany’s BR (Bayerischer Rundtunk). The drama portrays the life of Li Mirok, who fled to China and finally settled in Germany after fighting for Korea’s freedom while studying medicine in Tokyo during the Japanese colonial regime. The dramatic life of Li reflects the turbulent era of modern Korean and Germany history.

The role of Li is played by Woo Byeok-song, a Korean actor living in Germany, and Li’s parents are played by esteemed Shin Gu and Na Moon-hee. Its executive producer Lee Jong-han says the drama has been in preparation for nearly 30 years and it’s going to be his signature piece. The three episodes of “Yalu River Flows” is to be aired on November 14, the founding day of SBS, and also in Germany in 2009.

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Guest thunderbolt

MisterX's first impressions of the drama:

Yalu is great. Bit low key and old fashioned, but a good old 40-50s Korean novel styled slice of life potboiler. It's like a paella, has everything you could possibly see, and some you even can't, and just about everything they could catch alive. It can be cute, touching, romantic, badass realpolitik-like, lyrical.... kind of reminds me of a slightly more traditional and "conservative" version of Count of Myeongdong. The love for the source transpires. Not a masterpiece, but a very worthy effort. The third and final part is particularly good.

Incidentally, X will be translating Der Yalu Fliesst for WITH S2. :) Thank you, X!

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Guest huangsy

MisterX's first impressions of the drama:

Incidentally, X will be translating Der Yalu Fliesst for WITH S2. :) Thank you, X!

Good that WITH S2 is taking on this project, except that i cant use bittorrent to d/l their files ! :(

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I'm from Europe and I'm glad about this drama, and I hope it will be in german television in 2009. I hope that through this project the german TV stations will get more aware of Korean dramas!

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This hasn't really had much prominence in Germany, and there is still no firm date for it to be shown (nor has it been decided whether it will go out nationally or just on Bavarian TV -- which is however viewable everywhere in Germany on cable and all over Europe on free-to-air satellite). Expect major outrage when the early sequence of child-beating is shown.

I've been taking a look to see if there's anything on German TV sites worth translating (i.e. where the content isn't either trivial or wrong or both) but so far all I've come up with is this from a couple of months back. The url of the original is


Here is my translation of the body text (keeping the German romanizations of names and not attempting to link in the pix, which are in thunderbolt's posting above anyway). But first a couple of remarks.

1. Don't ask me why it's "fließt" as in the original article here but "fliesst" in the international title. There IS an answer, but it would take us far from Korea and into a German culturo-political battleground.

2. For the references to Hans and Sophie Scholl and Prof Huber below, see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie_Scholl For the Horst Wessel song, also mentioned, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horst_Wessel_Lied

Filming for "Der Yalu fließt" in Germany

Filming for the German-Korean three-part co-production "Der Yalu fließt" is currently taking place in Heidelberg, Münsterschwarzach und Munich. It is the autobiography of the Korean Mirok Li, who came to Bavaria in 1920. He came into contact with the circle around Hans and Sophie Scholl and in 1946 had a surprise success in the German book market with "Der Yalu fließt".

On Saturday a scene was shot at the Bavaria Film Studios in which the Korean Mirok Li encounters a Hitler Youth choir singing the Horst Wessel song. The extras found it very difficult to sing this song with the fervour that the director Jonghan Lee required of them.

In fine autumnal weather the filming went without a hitch. On Saturday evening when a scene was being shot at the Königsplatz (in Munich) in which Mirok Li encounters Professor Huber at a book-burning, a large crowd of onlookers gathered, amazed to see a German-Korean crew making a film about Hitler's Germany. Since the Director and most of his team (sound, lighting, makeup etc) can speak neither German nor English [!!!!] their instructions to the German actors had to be translated.

Many of the German players had learned some Korean especially for this production, and practised over Skype with their Korean colleagues and the Director.

Roland Pfaus, Daniela März, Olga Brügmann und Ute Kampowsky will shortly be flying out to Seoul to shoot further scenes on location there. The three-parter based on the life of Mirok Li (1899-1950) is set in Korea, China and Germany. It is being produced by the Korean firm Starmax in collaboration with the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation for the Korean station SBS. It will be broadcast by SBS on 14 November 2008 to mark the 125th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Germany and Korea. It will be shown as part of Bavarian TV's 2009 schedule.


There are a few nice (but 4:3) shots from very early in ep 1 at


I don't think the captions need translating, especially for anyone who's seen the drama

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More pictures from shooting scenes can be found here:


Apparently, the filming of the scenes caused some upheaval, and the police checked the filming permission...

I think part of the "underexposure" is because of the historical focus on the Geschwister Scholl & Nazi part.

If you know the German TV-landscape, it's pretty obvious why; I think there's something about the evils of the Third Reich on one of the TV stations on 4 days out of 7 in the week, with extra showing around certain days... :sweatingbullets:

But I guess it's a safe bet to assume that the series will be shown in connection with one of the anniversary dates of resistance against Hitler.

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I found another quite interesting item in the Bavarian Radio VOD archives (all in German, of course, and audio only) at


BTW, if you bring up that url and find yourself staring at an empty player, make yourself a coffee or something and eventually the clip will start... Here's a translation (I've left various minor bits of journalistic licence uncorrected and kept some names in the form commonly used in Germany)

Today in the church of St John the Baptist in Haidhaus [the "bohemian" quarter of Munich] German and Korean camera crews, recording teams and actors are at work. They're filming the autobiography of the Korean Mirok Li. He fled from the Japanese in 1920 and came to Munich. In the scene being shot he meets his friend Rosa in the church and learns that she has multiple sclerosis and not much longer to live. [soundtrack clip in German: Li Mi Rok speaks first]

- I've been looking for you everywhere. My short story's been printed. I wanted you to be the first to see it.

- Congratulations

- I owe it all to you. You always encouraged me. Here, this is for you

- Will you open it for me?

Mirok Li grew to be devoted to Munich. His favorite food was potato dumplings, and he even learned to speak Bavarian dialect. He was very popular as a university lecturer in East Asian culture and his lectures were very well attended. In 1946 he published his memoirs in book form with the Piper publishing house, as Bavarian TV producer Stafanie Heckner told me:

[sH]"This book was so successful that it was called the best German book of the year 1950 and excerpts from it were even printed in German school readers."

Bavarian TV is collaborating with a Korean station on this film. In just four weeks' time the three-parter will be shown on Korean TV to mark the 125 years of relations between Korea and Germany.

Since most of the Koreans working on the production know no English [!!!!!], the German-Korean Johann Chong has been given the task of translating and generally easing communications between the two nationalities.

[JC] Koreans are a bit less rigid about things. If something needs doing here or there, they're all willing to chip in, whereas Germans like to stick more to the rules, which of course is quite right, because everyone has their own job to do. That makes the Koreans say 'Why is he just standing there, why doesn't he lend a hand?' but that's because it isn't in his job description.

[Reporter:] Doesn't that lead to friction where two such different approaches to work are involved?

[JC]Naturally there's friction, but no-one makes a big deal out of it, because everyone understands that there are cultural differences, and in the end we just laugh it off. The Koreans come along then and speak in English, broken English, and we sort things out.

The casting was partly done over the Internet. And so were some of the rehearsals, as the actress Olga Brügmann told me:

[OB] We used Skype over the Internet to rehearse, we had a webcam at each end, so we could see one another using Skype, though the picture quality was a bit variable and so was the sound. Using a phonetic notation I worked out myself, I learned Korean that way, "learned" in quotation marks, that is haha.

The lead actor Sung Ho Choi grew up in Germany and finds it easy to identify with what Mirok Li must have experienced in Munich back then in the 1920s.

[CSH] Compared to my own past, it was the exact opposite. I first went to Korea at the age of 20, and in effect I was a "foreigner" there because of course though I look Korean, in my language and my whole way of thinking I'm actually German. Of course for Mirok Li the culture shock was even greater. But I can imagine how it was for him, so perhaps I could feel my way into this role more easily than most other people could."

When the film will be shown on Bavarian TV has yet to be decided, but the Mirok Lee's book is still on sale today. Like the film, its title is "Der Yalu fließt".

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