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.
May 1980. A Seoul taxi driver named Man-seob (SONG Kang-ho) comes across an offer too good to be true. If he drives a foreign passenger from Seoul down to Gwangju and back again before the curfew, he'll be paid the unthinkable sum of 100,000 won - enough to cover several months of unpaid rent. Without stopping to ask the details, he picks up the German reporter Peter (Thomas Kretschmann) and sets off along the highway. Although stopped by police roadblocks at the edge of Gwangju, Man-seob is desperate to earn his taxi fare, and eventually manages to find a way into the city. There they encounter students and ordinary citizens taking part in large-scale demonstrations against the government. Man-seob, alarmed by the danger in the air, pleads with Peter to go quickly back to Seoul. But Peter ignores him, and with the help of a university student Jae-sik (RYU Jun-yeol) and a Gwangju taxi driver named HWANG (YOO Hai-jin), begins shooting with his news camera. As time passes the situation ...Written by
The camera used by the German reporter has "DEUTSCHES FERNSEHEN" written, meaning German Television. The reporter, Jürgen Hinzpeter, worked for German broadcaster ARD, whose television network was known as Deutsches Fernsehen from 1954-1984, in line with the events in the current movie. The present name Das Erste has been in use since 1994. See more »
The desktop computers in the press room at a hotel in Japan weren't introduced until 1981 with IBM PC, and the computer towers didn't become common until a few years later. See more »
[Man-seob sees Peter sitting against a radiator in the hospital ward, in a depressed stupor. He speaks to him in Korean]
Why are you sitting here? You need to record all this.
[He presses the film reel into Peter's hand]
You promised, to tell people. It needs to be broadcast, so people will know.
[He gently shakes Peter's arm]
You're a reporter. Shoot this. Jae-sik, and this, too.
[He grabs the camera and squeezes Peter's arm encouragingly]
[...] See more »
Before the end credits roll, a footage shows the real Jürgen "Peter" Hinzpeter speaking out his heart about the desire to meet Kim Sa-bok, the driver again in future. See more »
In one of the Blu-ray versions, the title card and Korean intertitles have been omitted out. See more »
Watched a lot of South Korea cinema, even been there a few times. Had no idea off the events in 1980 depicted in this film. Incredible and inspiring the lengths people will go to for freedom and fairness. As ever, it all worked out quite well - it usually does, keep fighting for what you believe in: democratically diverse and open societies where you can fearlessly voice your views without consequence, they're worth fighting for.
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