A Taxi Driver
Director: Jang Hoon
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Thomas Kretschmann, Yoo Hai-jin, Ryu Jun-yeol
Film genre: Drama
Cert 15, 137 mins, 2017
Distributed by Dreamwest Pictures Inc.
Based on true events, A Taxi Driver follows two very different men as they become swept up in a movement that will change the course of a nation’s history forever. Director Hang Joon (The Front Line) begins his film as a charming road movie filled with humour and colourful period detail, before taking a more serious turn as both driver and passenger are affected by the situation unfolding around them.
It’s 1980, and the political climate of South Korea is tense. Just one year earlier the country’s authoritarian president was assassinated and the military seized power through a coup d’état. Now, democracy movements that were once firmly suppressed are on the rise, but a tragic event that will change the course of the country’s history looms on the horizon.
Oblivious to all of this is taxi driver Man-seob (Song Kang-ho, The Age of Shadows, The Host). Struggling to raise his daughter on a meagre salary, Man-seob jumps at the chance to take a mysterious foreigner on a trip from Seoul down to the southern city of Gwangju. His passenger, it turns out, is a German journalist (Thomas Kretschmann, Avengers: Age of Ultron) with a secret agenda to investigate the strange rumours emanating from the far-flung town…
A Taxi Driver is a timely exploration of the Gwangju Uprising, an event which would set the political direction of South Korea for years to come. Filled with humour, heart and a central performance from one of the country’s finest actors, the film delivers a powerful message in troubled times.