PRINCE YEONSAN Story by Park Jong-hwa Scenario: Lim Hee-jae Photography: Bae Sung-hak
Lighting: Lee Gye-chan Production designer: Jeong Woo-taek
Music: Jeong Yun-ju Starring: Shin Young-gyun Shin Sung-il, Kim Dong-won Joo Jeung-nyu, Han Eun-jin Huh Jang-gang, Kim Jin-kyu It’s been 40 years since
King Dan-jong was killed, but he had no descendants
to succeed his throne. how could the ordinary people,
busy with their lives, could they recall
the King’s death? Director: Shin Sang-ok
The Great Buk-ak mountain, near the palace, remains silent. By the tombs of the six murdered officials
loyal to the King, the Han River flows quietly. King Se-jo killed his nephew,
King Dan-jong to replace him
and get on the throne. But after thirteen years, King Se-jo also passed away. His eldest son, Duk-jong
died before his death, and King Se-jo’s second son, Ye-jong died after his first year as a King. So Queen Jung-lim
ordered Prince Ja-san, King Duk-jong’s second son,
to accede the throne. His name is King Sung-jong. He was honored for his wit
and intelligence but he also lusted after women. He had three queens and many concubines who bore twenty-eight
princes and princesses. King Sung-jong’s wives
grew jealous of one another, and Queen Yoon,
Prince Yeon-san’s mother, was executed with poison. It was a horrible event. Come here, Concubine Jung. Who’s next? The son of Concubine Uhm. No. It’s Prince Jin-sung. Prince Jin-sung. Where is he? He’s here. Brother, let’s go. This is unfair. Mother, you should join us. So that I can get
my face printed? The King has arrived. Majesty. What a pleasant sight this is. Father! My brood! Your Majesty, take time off, and play with your children. But where is Prince Yeon-san? I heard he has worries lately, he doesn’t study,
and always goes hunting. Is this true? No, Majesty. Prince Yeon-san is absorbed in his studies
day and night. There it is! My lord. My lord! Listen to my wishes. Go away, old woman! Sir. Please, let me see the Prince. I need to speak to him. Please, sir. Show me some mercy, sir. No! You heartless man. You don’t notice your grandmother, and you’re clueless of
your mother’s unjust death. You hopeless boy. Your Majesty, I heard the prince killed
a man while hunting today. Are you aware of this? Yes. I know, mother. Even a common man
wouldn’t be this cruel. How can our future King
kill a man like this? I learned that when he saw a soldier kill
a calf looking for its mother, he became furious
and killed the soldier. Is this true? Yes. His murder is unacceptable, but even if the calf is just an
animal looking for its mother, the soldier was wrong to kill it. A calf looking for its mother? Yes. His behavior is suspicious these days. Could he know that the queen
is not his natural mother? I’m not sure. Don’t worry, mother. I will look into it,
and keep him under control. When we deposed his mother, we should’ve deposed him, too. We would be free of trouble. Here is the kayagum, Prince. Uncle, play a tune. No. Not today. Good players choose their listeners, but please play for your nephew. I feel bad lately,
and I miss your music. I can’t. Why can’t you? Today is May 16. It’s the queen’s memorial. Here. Let’s just have a drink. What do you mean by
the queen’s memorial? My mother is alive. You mean Queen Yoon
who was deposed and poisoned? Why do you feel
sorry for a criminal? She was my sister-in-law, and she adored me. Uncle. Uncle. Why was she executed? I don’t know. – Please, tell me.
– I don’t know. – Please, tell me.
– I really don’t know. When she was queen,
didn’t she have a child? Blood will tell. Blood will tell? Never mind. Never mind. Blood will tell? You’ve gotten better. How is it, mother? What is the prize you promised me? Dried persimmons. That’s all, mother? Then a bottle of liquor. Mother. Here. What? Stand back. Prince, why are you here? – Need to speak to me?
– It’s nothing. Then please
come and play with Jin-sung. Brother, please come. Prince! Blood will tell. Mother! Mother. Mother. Mother, how can I live without
someone to rely on? Oh, Mother. My son. The night is so cold. Turn off the lamp. Turn it off. – Ja-Won.
– My lord? If you don’t tell me the truth,
I’ll cut off your head. I will. Ever seen the deposed queen? Why are you silent? Then I’ll put
my sword to your neck? Prince. Prince. Go on. Yes, I’ve seen her. What did her face look like?
Was it round or long? Her skin was white and slender. What else? She looked kind. And her body was slim and refined. Did she have a child? My lord, I’m sorry, but I can’t say. Answer me now. Yes, I will lord. Hurry. My lord, you’re her only son. So I’m the son of a sinner. My lord, my life is in your hands now. Why was she deposed?
Why did they poison her? My lord, I can’t answer. The King ordered anyone
who reveals the queen’s past to be hacked into pieces. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you. Alright. Tell me. She was deposed because
she scarred the King’s face The King’s face? Yes. My lord, please be careful. If people discover that you
know of your mother’s death, your position will be in danger. – In danger?
– Yes, they might take your crown away. They’re watching every move you make. Really? You should become closer
with the queen and Prince Jin-sung. You should act like you don’t know this secret. How could I, if I know the truth? How can I even keep
a smile on my face? My lord, your voice is too loud. My lord, wait until you
accede to the throne. All the people of this country are relying on your future. So please consider it. It’s for your future. My lord, it’s late, we should go back. Leave me alone. Leave me alone. Oh, there’s Yeon-san! Yeon-san. The King is coming. Please, get up. Son. Raising this dear early was worth it. Listen carefully.
The reason I raised this deer is to follow the example of King Moon in China whose hobby was to breed
a deer, as a sign of nobility. As I expected,
my prince is sentient. It’s so meek and
obedient to a human. No other animal
is smarter than a deer. What are you doing? It’s an obedient animal
that does you no harm, and you kick it for no reason? How can you be so cruel? Is that crueler than a saint poisoning his obedient disciple? Go to the royal school and read Mencius to think over what you just did. Read, my lord. You’ll never finish
by midnight at this pace. Please read it from the beginning. He creates the law and order, and rules his country with them. All the people followed his way at a younger age than me They respected him as a father. Please, continue. All of this is nonsense. What? I don’t want to read. If you refuse to study,
I will tell it to the King. My lord, if you feel tired
take a short break first. I think he despises me since I’m a sinner’s son. We’ll see about that. How dare he throw this book at me? Mother, what sin forced you
to get buried here. I resent you for passing on
your sin to me. With this disgrace on me, I’m forever a sinner’s son. Even though I become King, how can I rule with honor? Mother. Mother. King Sung-jong
ruled for 25 years. On December 25, 1494 he died,
at the young age of 38. After Prince Yeon-san led
the funeral, he became King. Speak, Your Majesty. My mother committed
a sin to the last King, and died as a deposed queen. My father’s order was
passed before his death. So she should be forgiven. I’m King of this country now. But if my mother’s
tomb remains disgraced, neither I nor my mother’s
ghost can be at ease. So then? So please forgive her crime, and have her buried
beside my father’s royal tomb. Please allow it. I can’t. What? She’s a criminal that was
exiled by the last King. It’s impossible. Your father would never allow it. Please consider this as a son’s duty. I told you it’s impossible. Think about your dignity as a King. Consider every matter carefully. In that case, if moving her tomb is
dishonorable as a King, I want an ordinary shrine built for her at least. Discuss it with the court. Why are you silent? What’s your answer Minister Yoon? I agree with Your Majesty. What about you? Your Majesty is right. I’m glad to hear you all agree. I will name it the
“shrine of filial piety”, and call the tomb “Hui”. I will speak, Your Majesty. Forgive my words. What is it? Queen Yoon was dignified, so it’s right to change
her tomb into an honorable one. But the last King deposed her, so it is disrespectful to do this. What? No matter how much pity
you feel for the queen, Your Majesty can’t treat this
as a personal matter. Even if a shrine
or tomb aren’t built, you can still hold
a memorial for your mother. And if you hold it
at her present tomb, you will fulfill your filial duty. Please don’t do things
unfit for royal custom, find another way
to fulfill your filial obligation. What? Listen: What makes you so sure? Who made our custom? Isn’t it made by human beings? If a custom doesn’t serve
justice or loyalty then it’s not a good custom. As a human being, I’ll make my own. Your Majesty, a custom is not made
by an individual. It becomes a custom if everyone agrees on it. I speak for all the officials,
Your Majesty. Forgive me for saying this, but I cannot obey
Your Majesty’s wish, to change her tomb
into a honorable one. What? According to
the last King’s command, even after 100 years we must not change his ways
and always obey them. Why are you disobeying
your father’s last command? If building a shrine
is against the last King’s will, we cannot permit
Your Majesty’s wish. Don’t you all
have mothers, too? Imbeciles. The King
has arrived. What’s wrong, Your Majesty? How could they do this
to me, my darling? They rejected to enshrine my mother. What’s my right as a King? Is a King born from the sky
instead of a mother’s womb? They have no compassion. My darling, I was raised without my real mother. I had to hide my true feelings. Know how sad
and lonely I spent my life? My darling, let’s give everything up, and live a normal life. I can fulfill my duty as a son for my poor mother’s soul. Let’s go together, alright? My darling. Your Majesty, let’s think it over. It’ll be better
if we wait a bit longer. You crazy old hag! Please ask your lord. – He’ll know who I am.
– Go away! Give me some food at least. I told you he isn’t in, old hag! He’ll know me,
but you kick me out like this. What’s all this noise out here? Just a crazy old woman. She says she’s the King’s
grandmother. The King’s grandmother? Yes. She must be lying, my lord. I can’t believe she’s still alive. Let me see.
Sure she called herself that? Yes. If it’s true, then I’m lucky. Go find her. – Why?
– Just find her quickly! Yes, my lord. How can I find her? Even if you have to search
everywhere, you have to find her. Yes, my lord. One more thing. Someone else may be looking for her. So find her quickly. Yes, my lord. Listen! Do you have to dishonor
the King’s mother? Think it over. Your Majesty is right. What’s right? Is it right to do it or not? It’s right to enshrine
your mother, Your Majesty. Listen to me, ministers. You may oppose me but I’ll never change my mind. Enshrining my mother’s tomb, is my custom and duty. Your Majesty is right. Minister of finance, don’t worry about the cost. Build her shrine behind Jong-bu
temple, with the best materials. Minister of affairs. First, I’ll go to my mother’s
tomb and perform a memorial. So prepare all the materials
that I need. If someone resists me I will punish him severely. Queen Mother, what should we do? The royal judges and inspectors
came to contest the King. The royal scholars
also came to defy him. They won’t leave the palace until the King cancels his order. They’re protesting this very moment. Your Majesty, their words are right. The deposed queen
is your natural mother, but Your Majesty should never
admit her into the royal family. Forgive me Your Majesty,
but please cancel your order. More protest letters,
Your Majesty. From Cholla province. Don’t they have parents, too? Ignore the ones good
at following laws and custom. I’m the King of this land.
I’ll do as I please. Just burn the letters. – Your words reign supreme.
– Queen Mother has arrived. Your Majesty. This dynasty is not yours,
but your ancestors. This country is not yours
but your ancestors. It’s for the people living here. Know what dignity
and royalty stands for? Perform a memorial? How can a King perform
a memorial at a sinner’s tomb? I’m doing it not as a King, but as a dutiful son. So is it wrong to perform
a memorial for my mother? Your throne is not your own. So you can’t act as you please. Consider the royal family’s honor, and your ancestors. Consider all the people
who respect you as a father. Why did you put
a sinner’s son on the throne, and forbid
my filial duty as a son. Even as a human being? How could you speak rudely to me? I’m sick of it, I’m sick of this throne,
this wealth and honor. If I’m denied my filial duty because of an unjust law and custom, I’d rather be a criminal, and be like a real son, to serve with my hands a warm bowl of rice
at my poor mother’s tomb. Please answer to my wishes. Please, Grandmother. I beg you. Never! Until I die, until the day I die, you’ll never perform
a memorial for her. Stay strong, Your Majesty. No one can actually forbid
the King’s wishes. Stay strong. Ja-won. Yes? Tell the head courtesan
to prepare a party. Call every courtesan there is. Drinking, dancing,
and playing with women isn’t against our custom, right? Got it? I’ll do as you wish. Can’t you excite me more? – Of course, Your Majesty.
– How? Majesty. It’s past midnight,
so please rest. Alright. Let’s go to my chambers, and I’ll teach you my own custom. Your Majesty, that’s too vulgar! Why is it vulgar? Forgive us, Your Majesty. Forgive what? Cowards, I should fix your mouths
with a hammer. So you’ll never repeat
dumb words like “forgive me”. Listen carefully. All of you were born
from vulgar things. If you think it’s vulgar,
vulgar also is your life! Now, let’s go in. This moment
we’ll enjoy. Queen mother is very upset now. She ordered Your Majesty
to stop playing and rest. It’s been a month
since you’ve been drinking without any rest. The last King’s deer
looks to be worried, too. It comes out,
and looks up at Your Majesty. What’s that sound? Your Majesty! Come and sit, Your Majesty. What brings His Majesty here? Very nice. You’re stingy, uncle. How could you enjoy
this party alone? This party is for a fool like me. Your Majesty mustn’t attend, if so, who will rule? Have a drink. Fill His Majesty’s glass. What’s your name? Jang Nok-soo. So you’re Jang Nok-soo! Yes, Your Majesty. Uncle, give her to me. If you adore her, she’s yours. But Your Majesty, you should adore her like me,
and do it forever. If you let me,
I’ll adore her till I die. Here. Nok-soo. Your Majesty. Don’t ever leave me,
and love me forever. Of course. Nok-soo. You’re not like usual. How could you protect
the King like this? You brats! Come here. You bastards! You brats. You brats! Give it back! There she is. My husband. Your daughter came out of the palace. – Come here.
– Father. What’s wrong? I quit my service and came out. Sister, is this true ? Yes. The King is so furious these days because of the deposed Queen Yoon. A few days ago,
the King killed his father’s beloved deer, and took in his uncle’s concubine. How could he do that? I’m glad you left. This country is in danger. – What is this?
– Could it be important? Give it to me. Oh, my goodness. Aren’t you Madam Shin? Aren’t you
the King’s grandmother? Yes, I am, but I don’t recognize you. Minister Park Se-won. – Minister Park?
– Yes. I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you.
What happened to you? I’ve grown old to wander
shamefully like this. Hurry and escort her inside. Please, come inside. Thank you so much. I’m so grateful. – Did it go well?
– Yes, my lord. Give it to me. All right. I will give you money. So find four or five reliable men
who are strong and good swordsmen. Yes, my lord. If my plan goes well and the King rewards me, this crime is worthwhile. Let’s go outside. – Is that true?
– Yes, sir. If it’s true, we should
take her out of there tonight. We can do it. But… What is it? It would cost more money. Don’t worry about money.
Just do your best. Yes, sir. One more thing… Are you asleep, Madam Shin? Who is it? You’re in danger. – Leave quickly.
– Why? Minister Park is trying to kill you. Please come quickly. He’s trying to kill me? If you meet the King,
Minister Park will be punished. That’s why he’s holding you. Please come quickly. That way. Over here. Thank you. Please get on. Let’s go. Don’t move! Who the hell are you? Lift her up. My lord! What happened to you? Tell me. I’m sorry, my lord. They took her away from us. What? Who took her away? They hid their faces so I couldn’t recognize them. This is serious. What should I do? Meanwhile,
Nok-soo stole the King’s heart, and became a concubine. Her home was flooded with wealth. The King gave her
many jewelry and gold, All the governors
gave her property as bribery and it was worth more
than their taxes. Come here. Who sent this? My goodness, it’s beautiful. It’s from Poong-chun palace. What? – Poong-chun palace?
– Yes, Madam. From Lady Hyun-sook? Yes, Madam. From Lord Lim Sa-hong’s wife. I see. Isn’t Lady Hyun-sook,
the King’s aunt. Yes, Madam. Another governor probably used her to give it to me. I’ve seen a similar jewel on the Queen’s skirt. But it’s nothing compared to this. Be quiet. You’re too noisy. But who’s Madam Shin? I’m not sure, Madam. Maybe Lord Lim’s concubine? Maybe. Tomorrow is
Lady Hyun-sook’s birthday. Really? They invited me. Welcome.
Thank you for coming. My pleasure. Please, come inside. It’s not much,
but please help yourself. It’s so much. – Please.
– Thank you. My dear friend, I appreciate you sending
me such a precious gift, I don’t know how to thank you. It was sent from Madam Shin, your grandmother-in-law. What? My grandmother-in-law? Yes, the King’s grandmother. Her life story is longer than a novel. Let’s eat first, and talk about it later. Lady Hyun-sook Tell me about Madam Shin first. Is she still alive? Yes, she’s still alive. I think I saw her when
I was a young kisaeng. I think you’ve heard
of the deposed Queen. After her deposal,
Madam Shin had nobody to rely on. Her home was taken away,
so she wandered as a beggar. She finally came to me
in desperation and asked me
to take her in as a maid. But how could I? How could the King’s
grandmother be my maid? So I asked my father and he was shocked by this news. He said he was jobless but he added he couldn’t leave her out.
to die of starvation. So he gave her food
and shelter to help her. Poor woman. If the King knew this, he would be miserable. He thinks day and night
about his mother. Considering her difficult life, why did she give me
such a precious jewel? It bears an astonishing story. When Queen Yoon
was in the palace, King Sung-jong gave it to her. She always told her mother,
Madam Shin that she must pass the jewel on to her daughter-in-law, sighing for this day to come. Madam Shin couldn’t meet
the present Queen, so when she heard
you became a concubine, she thought
you were worthy of it, too. That’s why she sent it to you. I see. By any chance
is Madam Shin here today? Yes, she is. Really? Then I’d like to meet her. Concubine Jang is here. Please, greet her. It’s an honor. No, it’s my honor. How are the King and Queen? Fine. I’ve waited so long. I’ve always dreamed
of this day to meet you. I’m honored to receive
your precious gift. I don’t know how to thank you. Please, don’t. It’s not me who gave it to you. It’s from my daughter,
the deposed Queen. Now, I have no other wishes, except for one. My grandson, who I saw as a child, is now a great King. To see him wear his crown… To see him just once, is my last wish before I die. My daughter was unjustly killed. My poor daughter. My lady, please help me release this grief. What’s wrong, uncle?
Are you missing Nok-soo? What are you doing? Fill his glass! Worthless. Shameful. A day doesn’t pass
without a party and he even gets drunk
with whores from the street. Who will manage
of the affairs of this state? Furthermore, the King indulges
with so many women lately this palace is becoming a harem. If you don’t stop
the King’s misconduct, this country will collapse. I will carry out your wish. You’re very charming.
What’s your name? Sung Lim-chun, Majesty. Come live in the palace. A lowly person like me? Not so. Stay with us. I like common people like you,
who doesn’t care for custom. Right, uncle? I’m the world’s most pathetic King. I have no rights. My elders give me no rights, and the ministers
deprive me of power. All those dumb ministers don’t care about
ruling over the people but bother me with custom. Those corrupt scholars
who complain about me, criticize my clothes, my shoes,
what I eat and how I sleep. Only when an obedient
and foolish man takes the throne will they praise him as a great King. So how can a proud man
like me rule as King? Don’t you agree? Am I wrong? Don’t worry about them. Just laugh it away. Then the world may look different. So let’s laugh! Your Majesty. What’s wrong? Did I make some mistake? Nok-soo. Come here. Know how lonely uncle was
because you were gone? Go fill his cup. Majesty. She’s yours not mine. Majesty. This isn’t the time
to be free of worries. But it’s fun. Majesty. I have something urgent to say. Please be done with this party. Did someone insult me again? Fine. If somebody insulted me,
I will tear his mouth apart! Who is it? I will speak, Your Majesty. The country is in despair recently. Your Majesty has spent so much the treasury is almost empty. This has never happened before. so please reconsider
for this country and the people. And? I will speak, Your Majesty. Please reduce the banquets,
and consider a humble life. This is the way
for a King to rule his people. And you? I will speak, Your Majesty. This is the list of expenses
for all your banquets, after inspecting the treasury. – 3170 bags of rice
and other crops. – 19 gallons of honey. – 24 gallons of oil. – 6263 rolls of cotton. – 562 white candles. – 370 yellow candles. In addition to this, blue silk,
light blue silk, dark blue silk, tiger silk, duck silk, lamb silk. As well as red silk, white silk, yellow silk. Go away! I’m flattered. Go tell this to Queen Mother
I’m still sober enough to rule this country! Why are you all still there? Ja-won. Prepare a banquet
in Sang-lim garden, and tell the royal cooks
to prepare a big feast. Go to the kisaengs. No! Go to the streets,
and bring every whore there is! Yes, my lord. I’m the loneliest man there is. I’m glad you came. I was about to call you
to hear about my aunt’s birthday. What’s that? Majesty, please look at this. It’s a very valuable item. What is it? Wait. You should dress formally and undo the package
with your own hands. What on earth is it? Forgive me for this but Your Majesty shouldn’t
spend your time too freely. It contains the last Queen’s
poor and miserable spirit. What? The last Queen? – So it’s my mother’s?
– Yes. What is this? What is this dirty thing? Are you mocking me? No, Your Majesty. How dare I mock you? It’s her blood and tears, at the time of her death, when she was poisoned. She wiped her blood and tears with this cloth and said: “Mother, I’m leaving now. When my son grows up, please give him this cloth, and tell him about
my unjust death.” Then she passed away. Majesty, now is not the time to drink. Gather yourself, and free her spirits
from this misery. This… This is really my mother’s blood? Yes. Where did you get this? I met your grandmother at Lady Hyun-sook’s
birthday banquet. So she’s still alive? Yes. She’s waiting for you
in the Ok-hwa room. – The Ok-hwa room?
– Yes. Let’s go. Is she my grandmother? Yes, she is. Grandmother. Majesty. You’re the old woman I met on my way back from hunting? Yes, Your Majesty. This can’t be! I treated my grandmother
like a dog. Grandmother. Grandmother. Majesty. Please stop crying,
and bring her into the palace. Please, stand up. Grandmother, please go inside. I want to hear about my mother. Please. Please, tell me. Is this really my mother’s blood? Yes. It’s her blood. Please, tell me. Tell me everything about her death. Ever since your mother
was a concubine, the last King loved her so much. Three years after
his first wife died, your mother gave birth to you. That year, your father made your mother Queen, and declared you to be his successor. Please, go on. It’s beautiful! I can wear a cloth made
by your lovely hands. How can I thank you? If people knew about this they would weave harder
to be like you. It’s my duty as a woman, Majesty. Let me measure your size. All right. You’re so tall, Your Majesty. So how much cloth is needed? Over half a role just for your back. I should’ve been shorter. It would be less work for you. – Majesty.
– My darling. Please, don’t do this.
The court lady is watching. Why are you so shy, my bride? Majesty. But there were people jealous of their happiness. Feeling neglected by the King they were concubines
Jung and Uhm. And the other was the
King’s mother, Queen In-su. She was a widow so she adored the King very much and hated your mother
for taking him away. In autumn, your mother held a silkworm festival and ordered
all the palace women to come. But concubines
Jung and Um didn’t appear. You didn’t go because
you were with Queen Mother? You disgraceful fools.
Aren’t you scared of death? But how dare we object
Queen Mother’s calling? Didn’t she know
about the festival? Nonsense. Beat those disgraceful women. Queen Mother has arrived. Queen Mother. Queen Mother. How in the world
could you do this? They couldn’t go
because I called them to care for the pain in my legs. I’m to blame so let them free. Forgive me, but it’s to teach royal etiquette. There are no other intentions. If that is your command, I will send them back tomorrow. So please don’t worry. After this incident, concubines Jung and Uhm went to a fortune teller’s home in Nam Mountain every day. They even sold their property, to find some way to get rid of you and your mother. Take this, please. We hope it’ll do. It’s so much. So is it going well? It’s not an easy matter. If people learn about this, they would cut my neck, and yours. So never let this out. Please don’t worry. A few days later, you suddenly got very sick. The palace was in turmoil. Mother, what should I do? Medicine may be helpful but his illness seems too severe. So we should pray to the gods
in a great temple or mountains or find a famous fortune teller to heal the little prince? I think his illness
is caused by an evil spirit. You’re right.
Do you know of any fortune tellers? There’s one
who lives in Nam Mountain. He’s very good
at curing illnesses. Then let’s hurry.
We have no time. How could this be. It’s a terrible misfortune. What is it? I can’t do this. Why can’t you. Tell me what’s wrong. If money is short… Here’s more. I shouldn’t be doing this. You must guarantee my life. Don’t worry.
If your magic works, I will ask the Queen
to reward you handsomely. Alright, then. The prince seems to be very sick. Am I right? You are. Please, go on. How could an evil spirit
enter the palace? It’s strange. Strange? His illness didn’t come
by natural means, but from someone’s evil magic. Someone’s evil magic? Whose? My life could be in danger but I already started,
so I can’t stop. Can you really guarantee my life? I told you not to worry. Women whose family name is a four-legged animal controls his illness with a spell. If you let this go on, the prince could die. So what should we do? Go to the palace quickly and walk three steps westward
from the prince’s chimney. If you dig there,
you’ll find an object. My goodness! Then take him out
of the palace somehow, and put him in a safe place. This could’ve been worse. If you give me 50 bags of rice
and some fabric I’ll pray for 100 days
and get rid of the evil spell. 2, 3… It’s here. It’s here. My goodness! My goodness! My daughter, how could this be possible? That fortune teller was right, Madam. Alright. If her family name
is a four-legged animal, who do you think she is? I’m not sure. I’m positive
one of the concubines did this. Madam, in a proverb,
Jung means a donkey. You’re right.
Concubine Jung did this. Concubine Jung? Yes. Queen Mother trusts her, and the King adores her. Since she has a baby, she’s acting like a Queen. Because of that festival, she’s bearing a grudge, so she must’ve planned this. That wench
is trying to kill my son. I’m so angry I can’t speak. Calm down for now. If you act rash,
it could ruin your honor. We should wait
for a chance to spoil her later. The prince’s illness
is more urgent. So let’s move him into a safe place after
we get the King’s permission. Madam Shin made a good suggestion. Alright. So we moved you safely into Minister Kang’s home. My lady, I have two plans. What are they? The first plan
is to poison Concubine Jung. What? – Poison her?
– Yes. The second is to split up
Concubine Jung and the King and ask the fortune teller
to cast a spell on her. Just like they did to us, we should try to kill her, too. I think the second is better. I thought so, my lady. But if you split up the King and Concubine Jung yourself, it will disgrace
your dignity and honor. So I think it’s better
to find another way. Concubines Jung and Uhm
plotted to kill the prince? My goodness. How could this be possible? Within the royal palace. Since the Queen is too, arrogant, rude, and jealous, I predicted this to happen. I don’t think
the Queen sent this. – I found it outside my door.
– It’s definitely her. I’m not sure what you think, but I think this letter
means the opposite. Concubines Jung and Uhm are not trying to kill the prince, but the Queen is trying
to kill them, instead. I’m sure of it. Concubines Jung and Uhm would never do such a thing. It’s my fault
for letting this happen. Forgive me. Lately, you are too generous
to the Queen. I can’t stand her arrogance. How will you deal with this? I’ll take care of it. If you read
this spell book for 100 days he said Concubine Jung
and her son will never survive. This is poison. If they eat a little, they’ll die. The King has arrived. Oh, goodness! Put it away! Hurry. Coming from
Queen Mother’s quarters? I see your mother is here. Yes, she is. Why are you standing there? Come here and sit down. Yes. What’s wrong?
I told you to come here. I need to talk to you. No, my foot is asleep. My goodness! What’s that? It’s nothing.
Nothing but women’s stuff. Give it to me. This? It’s poison, isn’t it? Say something. You must’ve sent this letter. I never thought you’d do this. You vicious woman. Tell me the truth. Majesty. How dare I lie to you
in the name of the gods? The poison was mine, and I thought the spell book could help heal the prince. So I gave it to the Queen. But why did you own poison, and then hand it to the Queen? I’ve suffered a fever every year so I had to keep it. The Queen was worried
about my illness, and she wanted a little,
so I gave it to her. Keep beating her,
until she tells the truth. Queen Mother has arrived. She’s a wicked girl! The Queen must’ve conspired
with her mother and her maid. But we don’t have any clear evidence. What are you talking about? Kill that wicked maid tomorrow, and forbid Madam Shin
to visit her daughter. And the Queen… After conferring with the ministers, depose the Queen. Lord Lim, you know the King
won’t rule forever. Once the King passes away, my grandson will take his place. So please ask the King not to depose the Queen. Then I will never forget
your kindness. I understand, Madam. I trust you with this. Today, I want to discuss
the Queen deposal. It’s a serious matter. I want to hear your opinions,
and expect honest answers. Majesty, I, Prime Minister Yoon, think that
deposing the Queen is just. Since all of you are silent
you must all agree. Then it’s done.
Leave the court. I, Lord Lim, will speak. The Queen is the mother
of this state. If you depose her due
to her maid’s trivial sin, please forgive me, but it is unjust as a King
to punish a guiltless person. Her maid confessed
that it is not the Queen’s fault, so it is wise
not to depose the Queen. She is not only
the mother of your son, but of all the officials
and people of this country. So she is my mother, too. This may be disloyal
to Your Majesty, but I cannot betray
my guiltless mother. Your Majesty must handle this justly. So please cancel your order to depose the Queen. Maid Sam-weol carried poisons and disturbed the palace. So for breaking the law,
she should be hanged. The head maid
didn’t fulfill her duty and allegedly delivered the letter. So exile her after she’s beaten. Madam Shin brought
a spell book into the palace. So she’s forbidden to enter. Afterwards, your mother lived in solitude in her room, and always slept weary
nights in her formal clothes. She spent her days
in tears and sighs. The King has arrived. My dear. The moon is so bright. Did you sleep
with your formal dress on? My dear. Please say something. It’s too late to worry about me. Sleep with my dress on? My dear, please don’t do this. It’s all my fault. The moon is bright
and you seek a woman. Why didn’t you go
to Concubine Uhm or Jung, and come back
to a viscous woman like me? Don’t bring up the past. Just go to sleep. Why shouldn’t I? You smile with glee
by just hearing her name. So why should I stop? That wench. I’ll get her back for this. My dear, you are the mother of this land,
where are your manners? Mother of this land? You adore the concubines
who disgraced the Queen. You think I’m a liar,
and I have no manners now? Get out. Go to Concubine Jung
and have your fun. My dear. You hate me that much? Go away. I despise you. Think about it, Majesty, you let Sam-weol get hanged, and forbade my mother
to even visit me. How could you be so cruel? That night I weaved for you, you came to me
and I measured you. Do you remember
what you told me? I’ve never imagined
you’d do this to me. Never. My dear. Didn’t I say
that it was all my fault? – My dear.
– Go away. Stop it. My dear. – Let go of me.
– My dear. Please, stop it. After three years had passed, the King went to her that night and spent it with her. But the King and Queen’s
night together was discovered by Queen Mother the next morning when she heard about a red scar on his face. The King has arrived. How did you get
that scar on your face? What? How did this happen? Who dare do this
to the King’s face? Tell me who did it. It’s nothing,
nothing to worry about. It’s nothing? Your body is from
your royal ancestors and you call that scar nothing? – Where’s the King’s escort?
– Yes, Madam. Who served the King last night? Answer me! The Queen. What? The Queen? Why didn’t you stay away
from that disgraceful Queen? I knew this would happen. Our country is at risk. Mother, your voice is too loud.
Please, calm down. Call the ministers,
and depose her now. If you had listened to me earlier
this wouldn’t have happened. If you oppose me this time I will leave this palace. The palace was in turmoil
over the Queen again. Your mother was accused
of scratching the King’s face and she was kicked out of the palace. Thank you. You served me well for so long. I’m exiled as a criminal but I ask you one last favor. What is it, my Queen? My prince. I’m never to return, so I would like
to meet him one last time. Please ask the King
to permit it. Yes, I will ask His Majesty. I have a message, Your Majesty. Before the Queen
leaves the palace forever, she asks to meet the prince, just for one last time. I hope Your Majesty
will show her mercy. Meet the prince? Yes, Your Majesty. Queen Mother has arrived. What are you doing here?
Did the Queen leave? Very soon, Queen Mother. So why are you here? The Queen wants to meet
her son for one last time. What? Meet the prince? What will you do? In my opinion, it could leave
a bad impression on him. So you’d better not permit it. Go and tell her she can’t. Yes, Your Majesty. What a shameless woman. Majesty, I wanted to drink today. So I prepared a small feast
in the palace garden. Please wait for me. I will be there soon. Then please hurry. Listen. Take the prince and let him
meet his mother. Yes, Majesty. Avoid Queen Mother.
Understand? Yes, Your Majesty is so kind. My Queen! My Queen! – My Prince.
– My Queen. My Prince. My Prince. Don’t forget my face, my prince. Grow up to be a great King. My Prince. Mother! Mother! – Mother!
– My Queen! After your mother was deposed and exiled from the palace her beautiful black hair
became piled with dirt, and the grief in her heart
made her ill. Mother, look at this. Blood came out. My daughter, try to get some rest. Mother, I want to live for a long time and see my son becomes King. You will. But at that time, any existence of your mother
was made forbidden, and they deceived you by replacing her. Understand? Now, everyone leave. Why aren’t you asleep
and playing the pipe? Let me try it once. Go to bed now. And don’t study too much. Go out often, and exercise
your mind and body. Observe the people to learn how to become a wise King. Yes. I have returned, father. Did you see
something interesting today? There was nothing to see. But I went out
of the south gate, and I saw a calf
chasing its mother. Chasing its mother,
the calf answered, and when the calf called,
its mother answered. Although they were animals,
their affection was moving. – Now, go inside.
– Yes, your Majesty. Listen here. Yes, Your Majesty. Call my secretary. I have arrived,
Your Majesty. Visit the deposed Queen,
and check how she is recently. Yes, Majesty. Find out whether
she repents her sin or not. I will do as
Your Majesty wishes. When you return, tell the King
she hasn’t repented yet and that she does everything
to defy him. And tell the King that she viciously insults him. If you don’t obey me, and tell the King otherwise, you will die. I will obey. Then go. Oh, goodness. What brings you
to our lowly home? Hello, Madam. The King’s secretary is here. Open the door and greet him. How have you been? How do you do? It’s been hard for you, hasn’t it? How is the King? How is my Prince? – They’re fine.
– Thank goodness. Please, help us. I beg you to tell the King and the prince of her love. Mother, please don’t. I’m a deposed criminal
who is very ill now. If they learn this,
it will only worry them. Please, don’t mention me. Just tell them
I’m repenting my sin and that I’m doing well. Yes. How could I betray
such a kind woman? I’m a brave man, too. Even if my life is threatened, I will tell the truth. Come closer. So how is she? Please forgive me. What is there to forgive? Please forgive me. Tell me now. Then just tell us what you saw. Has she not repented yet? And defy the King? Yes. She hasn’t repented yet and defies Your Majesty. Also… What else? Tell me. She said that as long as she lives, she will seek justice. What? Majesty, please calm down. Repeat what you just said. She said if she lives longer, she wants to seek justice. That’s enough. You can go. Majesty, she’s dangerous. She will spoil the prince
if she lives. I’m very worried
for this country. Punish her. With poison. It’s the only way. Human life is precious. I need more time to think. Why do you need more time? Order it right away. Mother, please,
open the window, I want to see the moon. There’s a beautiful
full moon tonight. It doesn’t matter
if it’s full or not. The King’s secretary, isn’t he such a kind man? If he’s human, he’ll pity you. I pray to the gods
that they’ll pity you. And if the King makes
you a Queen again, I can die peacefully now,
without any grief. Mother, you mustn’t die. You must live longer, until I return for you, so I can make
the rest of your life happy. Will that day really come? I have a feeling that good news will come soon. I hope so, too. Moon, moon, Bright moon The moon where Poet Li-po drinks There, there in that moon The great laurel tree in the moon Cutting it with a jade axe Trimming it with a golden axe Building a small house Living with my parents Are they coming for us? The King commands you. The King? – My daughter.
– Accept the King’s command. My daughter. The King asks to see you. The King? You were right last night. Your premonition was right. You may become Queen again. It must be good news. Hurry and get ready.
Go accept his command. Heed the King’s command. Yes, Sir. Even if you
can’t dress like a Queen, you should put on
a Queen’s veil. Here. My hands shake
so much I can’t put it on. My poor daughter. I feel faint. Bow and accept
the King’s command. Your character is vile and unmannered. As a Queen, your behavior
was unacceptable. You insulted the royal throne. Also, you said
you’ll seek justice forever. If you return as Queen,
bearing this evil mind, though the prince is wise
he won’t be able to rule. King Mu of China killed his innocent wife for his country. So if I forgive my evil wife again,
it will be immoral. So I order Queen Yoon
to be poisoned. No.
How could this be? Let me see for myself.
There must be a mistake. Mother? Why should I be killed? Why should I die? I’m innocent, mother. Why did I go to the palace? Do I have to die like this, mother? Mother? This can’t be. My poor daughter. She waited for 10 years in tears, hoping one day that the King
will have pity on her. My daughter,
why does she have to die? My Lord, you can’t kill her.
Kill me first! You can’t kill her.
My poor daughter. Mother. Listen to me.
Hear my words. Although I’m a deposed criminal
to be executed now, I was a Queen and mother of the prince once. Don’t think I’m being impolite
for these words. Bring me the bowl. Yes, Madam. My Daughter… My Daughter! After I die from this poison, tell the King these last words: I don’t know what misfortune caused me to be killed now, but tell the King that I wish he lives happily
with the prince forever. Also, after I die, bury me near the palace, so even as a poor spirit, I could somehow see the King’s face once more. My daughter! Let go of me! My daughter! Mother. I’m leaving now. When the prince becomes King, give him this cloth full
of my blood and tears. My daughter! Mother. Mother! Mother… Is anybody outside? Is anyone there? – Is anyone there?
– Yes, my lord. Arrest concubines
Jung and Um right away. Call the penal officer
and prepare the torture chairs. Evil witches! The penal officer is here. Good. The torture chairs and soldiers
are ready, Your Majesty. Good. Concubines Jung and Um
have been detained. Tie them on the chairs. Tie them on the chairs! You evil witches! Are you aware
of your crimes? Why did you plot
against my mother! You’re the ones who made
my mother a criminal. Answer me! You evil witches, answer me! Queen Mother has arrived! Majesty. What’s the meaning of this? They are your father’s concubines. How could a son torture his father’s loved ones? This is outrageous! What did you say? You not only dishonored your father, but how dare you beat them
with a King’s hand? You worry for the concubines,
but what about my real mother? If my torturing them is unjust, what to say about you
poisoning my mother? What did you say? My mother. You drove my mother to death,
didn’t you? I did.
But that was different. What’s the difference? She wasn’t poisoned as a Queen, but as a deposed sinner
who was exiled. What? A sinner? – Queen mother.
– Queen mother. This is outrageous! Heed my words. Carry out these commands. Arrest all the officials
who permitted my mother’s death, and the ones
who wrongfully accused her, and the treacherous bastards
who went to execute her. Arrest all of them this instant! Arrest all who tried to split up my father and mother. I knew this disaster would happen. I’m not sure if I will live today. If we got rid
of Madam Shin as I said, this wouldn’t have happened. Watch your mouth. What will happen to this country? If I’m late, don’t wait too long. Let’s go. Stop. Stop the beating. Listen to me, ministers. Officers Lee Se-ja
and Lee Saeng-geun carried out my mother’s execution, so kill them with poison, too. And cut off Secretary Kim’s head
who served my father. And the officials who decided
to permit my mother’s death and all the historians
of my father’s era, flog them all and exile them, and have them wait for my next order. Exile Concubine Jung’s sons as well as her daughters
to the corners of this country. And cut off the heads
of her parents, too. Ministers Jung, Han, and Shin didn’t oppose
my mother’s execution. But even though they’re already dead, dig them out of the national tombs, and smash their skeletons. Jung In-jee
was a praised high minister, but he didn’t stop
my mother’s death. So hold his memorial
as an ordinary man. As you wish, Majesty. A loyal official who serves the King should always be consistent
with his words I thought Minister Yoon
was a faithful man, but you agreed to depose my mother. You pretended to be innocent
and agreed with all my orders. You’re a very cunning old man. Confiscate his property! And hang him and his son! Why are you hesitating?
Tie up this old hag now! Do it now! I will speak, Majesty. It is natural for Your Majesty
to mourn for the old Queen’s death but revenging the past… Damn you! You worthless scholars
pretend to be well-spoken! How dare you criticize me? All right. Then I will cut off
your well-spoken tongues! Listen here! Throw them into prison
until I give my next order. The country was in turmoil day by day and the people’s wrath
reached high into the sky. A plot to depose King Yeon-san and to save the country
was secretly made by patriotic officials. A revolution was being organized, and the turbulent life
of King Yeon-san was coming to the climax. Korean Film Archive presents
Korean captions and English subtitles are sponsored by Google
Subtitles by Free Film Communications