How Did Poong Woon-ho Die in Netflix’s 20th Century Girl?

Image Credit: Seo Ji Hyung/Netflix

’20th Century Girl’ is a romantic drama film directed and written by Bang Woo-ri. The South Korean movie follows Na Bo-ra, a teenager who promises to collect information about her best friend’s crush. However, Bo-ra soon finds herself swept into a love story of her own, leading to an enchanting and feel-good ride that will make viewers nostalgic about the yesteryears. However, the movie ends on a bittersweet note with the death of Bo-ra’s love interest Woon-ho. Therefore, viewers must be curious about Woon-ho’s cause of death. In that case, here is everything you need to know. SPOILERS AHEAD!

What Happens to Poong Woon-ho?

In ’20th Century Girl,’ Poong Woon-ho is a new student who joins the Bo-ra’s school at the start of the new academic year. His parents are divorced, and he lives with his father in Korea. Meanwhile, Woon-ho’s mother and younger brother live in New Zealand. Woon-ho is quiet and depressed after his parent’s divorce but starts smiling after developing a crush on Bo-ra. Eventually, the duo begins dating, but Bo-ra ends their romance to protect Yeon-du’s feelings.

Image Credit: Seo Ji Hyung/Netflix

Later, Woon-ho is moving to New Zealand to live with his mother, and Yeon-du helps Bo-ra reunite with her love. At the station, Woon-ho professes his feelings for Bo-ra and promises to remain in touch. He continues his relationship with Bo-ra through emails, and the two arrange to attend the same college in Seoul. However, after celebrating New Year’s Eve of 2000, Woon-ho disappears, and Bo-ra loses all contact with him. In the end, Woon-ho’s younger brother, Joseph, reveals that Woon-ho has passed away.

Poong Woon-ho Presumingly Died in an Accident

After Woon-ho stops replying to her messages and calls, Bo-ra is devastated and heartbroken. The sudden disappearance of Woon-ho from her life leaves the teenager depressed. However, she never learns why Woon-ho stops talking with her until the end. Bo-ra receives a VHS tape and a letter from an artist named Joseph, who invites her to an art exhibition. At the art gallery, Joseph reveals he is Woon-ho’s younger brother and that Woon-ho died nearly fifteen years ago.

Image Credit: Seo Ji Hyung/Netflix

Later, Bo-ra returns to her childhood home and watches the VHS tape. The tape contains memories from Bo-ra’s school days and her time with Woon-ho and her friends. In the end, the video comprises Woon-ho’s final message to Bo-ra, and he professes his love for her. In the video, Woon-ho reveals that he will soon be coming to Korea to meet Bo-ra. However, shortly before he could meet Bo-ra, Woon-ho tragically passed away. The film does not state the cause of Woon-ho’s death, but Joseph mentions his lamentation at Woon-ho traveling to Korea to meet Bo-ra. Therefore, it is implied that Woon-ho died while traveling to Korea, presumably in an accident.

Ultimately, the revelation of Woon-ho’s fate leaves his romance with Bo-ra on a tragic note. Woon-ho’s death profoundly impacts Bo-ra, who considers him her “forever” person. As a result, Woon-ho becomes eternal in Bo-ra’s memories, and she cherishes him in her heart. Thus, despite Woon-ho’s death giving the film a bittersweet ending, it adds a unique flavor of love to the story.

Read More: Where Was Netflix’s 20th Century Girl Filmed?