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.
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 »
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
South Korea's submission to the Foreign Language Film Award of the 90th Annual Academy Awards. 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 »
Good but long dramatised version of a crucial point in South Korean history
This South Korean film is a fictionalised view into the experiences of german reporter Jürgen Hinzpeter (who died in 2016) and driver Kim Sa-bok (unkown to the public) at the Gwangju uprising in 1980. The filmmakers tried to identify Kim Sa-bok prior to the production, but only after the films release it has surfaced that the man had died of cancer in 1984, four years after the events in the film. Knowing nearly nothing about the driver, the filmmaker tried their best to create an intruiging character, that fit the movie. The actor Song Kang-ho as well as his german counterpart Thomas Kretschmann both did great jobs and I liked their performances.
The screenplay/plot is not too bad, it does a good job being both entertaining and sometimes even light-hearted, as well as handling the though and serious topic of the gwangju uprising very well. However the pacing of the movie isn't absolutely great, with the rythm of the film sometimes a bit off, so it could have also been a little shorter than 135 min. Another problem was, that although I know about the history, for me personally this tragedy hasn't been translated well enough onto the movie. Objectively they handeled the tragedy well, but I was left a little bit cold. That being said I did enjoy the film and would rate it 7.5 if i could.
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