A widowed father and taxi driver who drives a German reporter from Seoul to Gwangju to cover the 1980 uprising, soon finds himself regretting his decision after being caught in the violence around him.
A coup in North Korea forces an agent to defect to South with unconscious "Number One". While operatives from North hunt for both of them, the agent has to work with South Koreans to stop the nuclear war.
Characters in the film at several points mention "the company" they work for, but which is never named. In reality, this company was the Mitsubishi Corporation, which owned Hashima Island until 2002. See more »
00:16:13 - 00:16:50 -> The band members are supposed to cross from Korea to Japan in the dirty, packed hold of a cargo ship. When they emerge from the boat in Shimonoseki, one can see it is a very modern ferry, complete with fully-enclosed, bright orange modern lifeboats, streamlined design, and all-welded hull and superstructure construction, as opposed to ships of the period, which were riveted. See more »
A few plot holes, but over all an excellent period film.
The three lead actors are among South Korea's most talented and loved, and the story of what Japan did to Korea is true (enslavement, rape, and mass murder, just as they inflicted on Nanking, China), a story that many Americans don't know about our ally. Though there are some plot gaps and sequencing gaffes creating a cut and paste effect in a few scenes, the film is well worth watching because of its themes, both historic and dramatic, and because of the twists, intrigues, betrayals, and heroism of this Korean story set in the face of the horrors of war and occupation. The film opens and closes in black and white, except at the end a spectral bit of horrifying color followed by the anguished face of the child. It follows a thrilling yet heartbreaking action sequence and closes with an elegiac triumph soaked in grief. This is, after all, a war story. There is a reason why Asians, especially the Koreans, have captured the world's attention while Hollywood continues to slide. They have tremendous talent, imagination, brilliance, and expertise along with a thousand-year history of culture, ideas, and experience. And because they are that good.
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