The former businessman from Seoul, who gave up his professional career to embark on a 10-year long cycling trip through 192 countries, became the unwitting star of “Life in a Day,” directed by Kevin Macdonald and executive produced by Ridley Scott.
Okhwan’s journey, directed and produced by Slovakian filmmaker Marek Mackovic, was chosen from more than 80,000 clips submitted to the worldwide YouTube project, and became a focal point of Macdonald’s film, with the director describing the footage as “…one of the building blocks of the film.”
Okhwan’a trip was intended to publicize his desire to see his country — North and South Korea — reunited. He survived several collisions with cars, was kidnapped by the military, suffering both acute hypothermia and heat exhaustion, and had a bout of malaria. After crisscrossing 192 countries, Okhwan went on hunger strike as a way of bringing attention to his quest for the reunification of his homeland.
The filmmakers, who have followed Okhwan on this journey since 2009, are now editing the footage.
Mackovic said: “Okhwan’s story is as jaw-dropping as it is poignant. It’s the ultimate tale of endurance and perseverance. There were times when we as the film crew simply couldn’t go on, and Okhwan would still have this boundless energy, that was truly an inspiration.”
A Slovak/U.K. co-production, the film is supported by Slovak Audiovisual Fund.