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.
The film tells the story of an elderly woman (played by Na Moon Hee) who constantly files complaints with the local office about the wrongs that she sees around her each day. Along the way,... See full summary »
In 1987 Korea, under an oppressive military regime, a college student gets killed during a police interrogation involving torture. Government officials are quick to cover up the death and order the body to be cremated. A prosecutor who is supposed to sign the cremation release, raises questions about a 21-year-old kid dying of a heart attack, and begins looking into the case for the truth. Despite a systematic attempt to silence everyone involved in the case, the truth gets out, causing an eruption of public outrage.
The greatest cinematic depiction of modern Korean history
For the past decade, South Korea has steadily presented motion pictures based on real life figures and events in its modern history. May 18 (2007) and National Security (2012) were solid movies, well-intended and meaningful, but generally deemed too serious to reach a large audience. A Taxi Driver (2017) was a huge commercial success, grossing $88 mil/12 mil admissions in the domestic box office. Still, many regretted that the movie left something to be desired in terms of cinematic quality.
And here at the end of the year that commemorates the 30 years of the June Democratic Uprising came a motion picture that delivers both an accurate account of history and ample entertainment value. Despite a complex plot with a large ensemble cast (K-movie fans will have a blast recognizing those faces!), the movie never loses its focus--not a single scene redundant or wasted. Opening with a death of a college student during a police interrogation, the movie spends the first half of its running time as a well-crafted political/crime thriller. Then more characters appear and more things happen...which all culminates in that fateful day in June 1987.
To those that are not familiar with contemporary Korean history, the plot may seem contrived. But almost all speaking roles in this move are based on real life figures, with their motives and actions intact, which I believe makes the whole story even more astonishing.
E. H. Carr defined that history is an unending dialogue between the past and present. I would say that this movie is a superb example of how a motion picture can facilitate such a dialogue.
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