When a hapless struggling gangster has his winning lottery ticket stolen by one of his employees, he sends his handsome young henchman, Jae-chul (Lee Jeong-jin of Once Upon a Time in High School, and a corrupt cop, Chung-soo (Lee Moon-sik of The Big Swindle) to track the girl down and get the ticket back. They find out she came from a remote island called Mapado, and take a long, unpleasant boat ride there, only to find it nearly deserted. The island's only inhabitants are five elderly widows. While some of them are grumpy, they are generally happy to see some new faces, particularly those of young men. Jae-chul and Chung-soo soon learn that one of the widows is the thief's mother, so they pretend to be fishermen and befriend the widows while waiting for their prey to return home. Unfortunately, the two men have an unpleasant history together, and have a hard time stifling their hostility toward each other. Jae-chul helps the women with routine chores, while Chung-soo mainly loafs about. But when a crisis hits the tiny community, both men rise to the occasion, and they find their unlikely bond with the nutty old women growing surprisingly strong. Mapado: All About the Hemp and Widows, directed by Chu Chang-min, was a surprise hit in South Korea. The film had its International Premiere at the 2005 New York Korean Film Festival.
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