Kang Woo-suk / South Korea / 2011 / 144 min / Korean with English subtitles / color / 35mmTweet
Best known for his action and crime thrillers, veteran director Kang Woo-suk hit a homerun at the Korean box office with GLOVE, an uplifting, family-friendly sports drama. Based on a true story, GLOVE centers on a struggling baseball team at a rural school for the hearing-impaired.
Though winless, the young players dream of competing in the national baseball championships. The school’s head nun, meanwhile, plans to dissolve the team, believing deaf students have no future in sports. Yet for these boys who are treated as outcasts in society, eliminating baseball would take away the one thing that makes them feel “normal.”
Fortuitously, the team gets a new coach – a hot-tempered champion pitcher Sang-Nam (Jung Jae-young) who took the job to rehabilitate his image after a well-publicized drunken brawl. Jaded and unmotivated, Sang-Nam is rather unenthusiastic about taking on a motley crew of deaf country boys with whom he can barely communicate. But their dogged determination to go to nationals begins to win over Sang-Nam. He gradually develops a bond with the kids, especially a talented young pitcher Myeong-jae (Jang Ki-bum), whose rebelliousness reminds Sang-Nam of his own early years.
At each base, GLOVE is loaded with sentimentality, humor, and dignity. It affirms our love for underdog stories while shedding light on a community that is rarely portrayed on film. – Lee Ann Kim
Co-presented by: Wells Fargo, Mnet, KoreAm, Language Door
- Director: Kang Woo-suk
- Cast: Jung Jae-young, Yoo Seon, Kim Hye-seong, Jang Ki-beom, Kim Ho-won