After 76 years of marriage, this adorable couple still lives like newlyweds

In POV documentary "My Love, Don’t Cross That River," a Korean husband and wife are truly lifelong partners

By Chris White

Published September 10, 2017 6:00PM (EDT)

 (Courtesy Film Movement)
(Courtesy Film Movement)

In the age of swiping right for your next date, it can be easy to say romance is dead. Too easy, in fact, as South Korean filmmaker Jin Mo-young’s touching "My Love, Don’t Cross That River" teaches us.

After more than seven decades of marriage, husband and wife Jo Byong-man and Kang Gye-yeul seem to live every day as newlyweds. In a quiet village in South Korea’s countryside, Jo and Kang go about their chores — collecting firewood, shoveling snow and fetching water — with childlike affection and vigor, all while wearing matching hanbok robes, the traditional Korean dress. I guarantee even the most jaded among us will crack a grin at some point in the film.

But of course, as the title and opening scene suggest, all things must come to an end. As Jo’s health fades, Kang makes the necessary preparations for his final days. She burns children’s pajamas for her children who died in infancy so they’ll be able to wear them when meeting her husband in the afterlife. Eventually, she burns her husband’s clothes as his condition worsens.

This is a film that will take you to extreme ends of the emotional spectrum, from profound joy to immense grief. The film's bright display of Korean traditions and culture as well as Jo and Kang’s unalloyed love will touch people from across the country. After more than 70 years, Jo and Kang still can’t seem to get enough of each other. Time is a gift, they learn, and they never seem to have enough of it.

You can watch the full film, "My Love, Don’t Cross That River," on POV Monday, Sept. 11, at 10 p.m. (check local listings) on your local PBS station and online at

Chris White

Chris White is the executive producer of "POV."

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Documentaries Jin Mo-young Korean Love Marriage My Love Don't Cross That River Pov Salon Films