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Watch Insightful Documentary Jeju: A Bicycle Adventure in South Korea

Jeju is 24-minute travel documentary about one family’s slow-travel adventure on a Korean island.

It’s a bike-packing adventure, friendly enough for the whole family. Along the way they meet remarkable people, and discover the island’s unique landscapes.

The film featured in the Korean Expat and Indie Film Festival in 2015 and the International Bicycle Film Festival in Berlin in 2014.

The family of 3 travel by Brompton folding bikes past beautiful forests and coastal landscapes. (Image: Jarrod Hall via KoreanRooftop / YouTube Screenshot)

The family of 3 travel by Brompton folding bikes past beautiful forests and coastal landscapes. (Image: Jarrod Hall via KoreanRooftop/YouTube Screenshot)

 Jeju is the film’s title and the name of the volcanic island the adventure takes place on. It is found in the Yellow Sea — just off South Korea. The family journey the circumference of the island in 2 weeks with 3 folding Brompton bikes and travel a total of 186 miles (300 kms).

Emma, Jarrod Hall, and their 10-year-old son Sebastian are the family that take this trip; although we don’t get to learn much about them, we learn about what they experience. We visit the shrinking “gotjawal” rocky forests and journey through breathtaking coastal scenery, but it’s the characters they encounter on the island of Jeju-do that makes the film unique.

The nature on Jeju island. (Image: Jarrod Hall via KoreanRooftop / YouTube Screenshot)

The nature on Jeju island. (Image: Jarrod Hall via KoreanRooftop/YouTube Screenshot)

It’s a simply beautiful film that makes you want to get on your bike, explore, and make a film.

We observe these conversations had with locals, we meet a reclusive poet, motorcycle campers, and witness a young couple who are moving away from city life and are building a house on the remote island.

We spend time with an artist who runs a cafe as the family eat fresh, good, locally sourced food from him, and then drink fine coffee from a nomadic barista.

Yes — just when you think things can’t get any better they come across good coffee! Here is a small clip from when they encounter Hyundu Kim’s Coffee Truck:

They also cross paths with Japanese Butoh dancer, Masamichi Shibasaki — Butoh is a Japanese dance-form that first appeared after World War II — it’s pretty mesmerizing to watch:

There is something very special about the island. It appears to attract people with a different outlook on life; it’s as if time has slowed down on the stunning volcanic island.

One of the neat things about this film is that it is made by the family that took the trip. It was co-directed by husband and wife Jarrod and Emma Hall. Emma produced it and Jarrod filmed, recorded sound, and edited the film. The music is by Dion Hall and Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com. It was translated by Migyoung Kim 김미경 and the couples 10 year old son Sebastian Hall.

Swimming in the Yellow Sea. (Image: Jarrod Hall via KoreanRooftop / YouTube Screenshot)

Swimming in the Yellow Sea. (Image: Jarrod Hall via KoreanRooftop/YouTube Screenshot)

At the start of the film you hear a local from the island so surprised to hear Sebastian speak Korean to him, and he asks: “How do you speak Korean?” To which Sebastian replies, in a very endearing moment in the film: “I study.”

Family, bikes, nature, locals, and film-making — what a great combination.

Experience the joys of “slow travel” by viewing the full film here at Korean Rooftop — it’s well worth a watch.

 

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