Old Partner (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Old Partner (2009)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Old Partner Photos

Movie Info

An eighty year old farmer who walks with a limp and can hardly hear tends to the farm while wondering how much longer his trusted ox can keep working in this documentary from filmmaker Chung-ryoul Lee. Choi has been on this earth for nearly a century. His worn-out ox has been around approximately half that time, working the land without incident for three decades. But these days Choi is beginning to wonder just how long his ox has left to live. Over the decades, the farmer and his beast have formed a relationship that transcends language and species. When spring arrives and Choi learns that his ox will likely be gone by the same time next year, the ageing farmer truly begins to fear for the future. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi


Critic Reviews for Old Partner

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (6)

Even at a modest 78 minutes, there's a little too much slowness and repetitiveness to this off-beat documentary. But then, how fast can you expect a 40-year-old ox to move?

March 2, 2010 | Full Review…

Old Partner may strike some as sentimental and repetitious, but it's only because Lee has matched his style to the material.

February 26, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Too bad there isn't an Oscar for best performance by a beast of burden.

January 1, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Old Partner isn't entirely the story of man and ox shuffling off into the sunset together. It's also the story of poverty, sacrifice, physical agony, and very real emotional tumult.

January 1, 2010 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

One does leave with a rarely vivid sense of the grind of time, in work and marriage.

December 30, 2009 | Full Review…

At its best, the film adopts its subjects' spartan demeanor, relying on wordless sequences that vividly depict the rhythms of farm labor...

December 30, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Old Partner


A sweet if repetitive documentary. It's a simple observation of a man and his ox. Nothing more, nothing less. If you would find a man and his ox farming boring, then just don't watch it. The true heart of this film comes from the relationship between the man and his ox. The man works the ox incredibly hard, but treats him better than his own wife. This does raise questions as to where the mans heart truly lies. But it's that thankless dedication to each other that really hits home. Never asking from each other, and no understanding, just pure love. There are some wonderful moments, as the man takes his ox to market (as his wife demands) but then asks for $5,000. He is made fun of, and heckled, but he seems truly happy. It's also humbling to see how hard these rural people work, and how his work and his friendship with his ox, mean more than any amount of cash.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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