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 computer print-out of passenger manifest showed the modern typefaces in different font style and size as if printed from the inkjet or laser printer. Neither were available in 1980. The technology in 1980 would be typewriter font in one style and size along with characteristic appearance of ink ribbons as if printed from telex machines. 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 »
A Taxi Driver is a film you should not miss. It is based on real events and it is impossible to stay indifferent when watching it. To be perfectly honest, I was not aware of the tragic events at the protests in South Korea in 1980. The complete disregard for human life will send shivers down your spine. It is impossible to understand why humanity never learns anything from its darkest mistakes. Throughout the history, similar things have happened and will unfortunately continue to happen in the future for sure. The story of the two main characters is inspiring. They risked their lives to bring truth to the world. You really get to care and root for them until the end. The acting is top-notch; wonderful, natural performances from everyone. And if you are an emotional person, the ending will definitely bring tears to your eyes. Strongly recommended.
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