The Map against the World – Not a Review

Not a Review - The Map against the World

“Why do you keep on making maps?” Ba woo curiously asked the old man while they were sitting beside each other outside their house.

He looked up on the vast sky and put on a contented smile upon seeing the number of stars scattered on the floors of heavens. Then he whispered so softly as if talking only to himself, “To make my heart beat.”

I’ve repeated this scene over and over again. Put the volume to the highest level in order to hear his soft response. And when it finally made sense, I was left dumbfounded.


The 2016 movie, The Map against the World, is a true story of a guy from the mountains whose sole goal is to create a detailed topographic map of Korea. Gim Jeong-ho, a geographer and cartographer, was believed to have walked the entire length and breadth of the Korean peninsula in order to fulfill his dream of publishing “Daedongyeojido” or “The Great Map of the East Land” during the Jeoseon dynasty – which marked the zenith of pre-modern Korean cartography.

But despite the great cinematography, heartfelt drama, and deep historical value, The Map against the World only earned a 5.8/10 rating. I’m not one to contest this results though. As they say, to each his own. However, if I were to list down the best movies that I have watched, I’d surely add this one.



Many won’t understand Jeong-ho’s logic. His obsession is beyond comprehension – yet this also led him to greater heights and far-off adventures. His life was purely dedicated in the pursuance of what makes him alive and happy – with or without the acknowledgement of others. Subsequently, this also caused the death of his family and probably of his as well.

At this time and age, when everything must be driven by logic and common sense, it is rather difficult to fathom Jeong-ho and his decisions. You’ll never understand passion unless you have. How many Jeong-ho’s have been forsaken by society just because they don’t adhere to the constrained standards of success? Artists. Musicians. Poets. Writers. Performers. Even professionals who are having a hard time growing because their ideas are rather off than the rest. Visionaries. People who do otherwise of the bandwagon.

It’ easy to label them as misfits. But I find courage in people who does what truly makes them happy. Those who go against the current. Those who stand to their beliefs without being influenced by others. And those who continue to follow their hearts – no matter where it will lead them.

Life is too short to not bet all your aces. Make your heart beat once again.

The Map against the World – Not a Review