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August 22, 2017

[Korean Box Office] ‘A Taxi Driver’ speeds past 10 million ticket sales

Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily / STARNEWS


The third installment of the highly anticipated “Planet of the Apes” franchise was not strong enough to outrun two local movies, “A Taxi Driver” and “Midnight Runners,” at this weekend’s box office.

Jang Hun-directed “A Taxi Driver,” starring Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann, sold 950,000 tickets over the weekend at 1,033 screens, bringing its total ticket sales to 10.4 million. The film, about the Gwangju pro-democracy uprising in 1980, became the first movie in Korea this year to hit the 10 million mark, and has raked in a total of 81.8 billion won ($73 million).

Released on Aug. 2, the film became the 15th Korean movie and 19th movie of all time to cross the milestone, according to its distributor Showbox. It also became Song’s third movie to have pulled off 10 million admissions after “The Host” (2006) and “The Attorney” (2013). 

Action comedy “Midnight Runners,” starring Park Seo-jun and Kang Ha-neul, maintained the second spot in its second week by selling 850,000 admissions at 918 screens. The movie, revolving around two students from the Korean National Police University who take down criminals, has sold a total of 3.9 million tickets as of Sunday. 

“War for the Planet of the Apes,” which wraps up the franchise came in third in its debut weekend with 683,000 tickets sold. Since its release on Aug. 15, the third film in the trilogy has sold an accumulated 1.54 million admissions. 

At fourth was local horror movie “The Mimic.” Directed by “Hide and Seek” (2013) director Huh Jung, the movie sold 511,000 tickets from Friday to Sunday. 

“Annabelle: Creation” dropped two spots from last weekend to round out the top five. The movie sold 252,000 tickets to add on to a total of 1.75 million.

Meanwhile a new documentary from Choi Seung-ho, a producer at independent internet news provider Newstapa who was dismissed from MBC in 2012, managed to reach the seventh spot, selling 48,000 tickets in its debut weekend. Titled “Criminal Conspiracy,” the film tracks down the previous administrations’ manipulation of Korea’s public broadcasting companies. 

The documentary is Choi’s third after “Seven Year-Journalism without Journalist” (2016) and “Spy Nation” (2016). 

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]

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August 22, 2017

A TAXI DRIVER Rides Into 10 Million Viewer Club taxi1.gif

by Pierce Conran / KoBiz

Buckets of rain came down on Korea over the weekend but the stream of crowds heading to theaters remained unabated as admissions stood at a healthy 3.57 million. Korean films remained strong as a pair of dominant holdovers and some new releases contributed to a 67% market share for the local industry.

JANG Hun’s A Taxi Driver remained in first its third weekend, during which it attracted another 950,000 viewers (USD 6.91 million), which gave it a commanding 10.35 million admissions (USD 71.92 million) in 19 days. This makes the Gwangju drama just the 15th Korean movie to cross the famous 10 million viewers barrier. It’s the first to do so this year and the 19th overall if we include foreign films. 

Meanwhile, the film’s lead SONG Kang-ho became the first actor to headline three 10 million hits, following The Host (2006) and The Attorney (2013). The only actor to appear in more is supporting star OH Dal-su, whose has featured in seven films from the list.

Staying strong in second place after a slight 36% drop was action-comedy Midnight Runners which filled another 849,000 seats (USD 6.11 million) and has accrued an impressive 3.91 million entries (USD 27.14 million) to date.

Despite a strong debut on Korea’s National Liberation Day holiday (Tuesday, August 15), War for the Planet of the Apes was unable to remain competitive as the week wore on and fell to third place by the weekend. It brought in 683,000 viewers (USD 5.12 million) over the frame and has sold a respectable 1.54 million tickets (USD 11.24 million) in its first six days.

Opening in fourth place was local horror The Mimic, the new film from Hide and Seek (2013) director HUH Jung. The film performed well, relative to other Korean horror films, with 511,000 entries (USD 3.67 million) over the weekend and 643,000 admissions (USD 4.55 million) since Thursday.

Fellow horror Annabelle: Creation slipped to fifth place after cooling down 66%. With another 252,000 viewers (USD 1.84 million) banked, the film has accumulated a strong 1.75 million spectators (USD 12.37 million).

Notably, CHOI Seung-ho’s new documentary Criminal Conspiracy, which looks at the erosion of freedom of the press in Korea, opened with a strong 48,000 viewers (USD 353,000) in seventh place, and has reached 66,000 admissions (USD 474,000) in four days.

Looking to top the chart this week will be Park Hoon-jung’s North Korea-themed serial killer thriller V.I.P., the third release of Warner Bros Korea.

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Source: Jason Bechervaise‏ @Jasebechervaise

August 23, 2017

President orders special probe into military crackdown on 1980 Gwangju uprising
(ATTN: UPDATES with defense ministry's statement in last 6 paras)

SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in ordered his defense chief Wednesday to launch a special probe into a military crackdown against the 1980 pro-democracy protests in Gwangju, specifically to verify whether the then military junta considered a possible air strike.

"President Moon today ordered Defense Minister Song Young-moo to launch a special probe regarding recent media reports that an order had been delivered to put Air Force fighter jets on standby for a sortie toward Gwangju and that (military) helicopters opened fire toward a building (in Gwangju)," Park Soo-hyun, a spokesman for the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, told a press briefing.

The fresh allegations, if confirmed, will likely add to the misdeeds of former President and dictator Chun Doo-hwan, who came to power through a military coup in late 1979.

Chun has already been convicted of ordering an armed crackdown on thousands of democratic protesters in Gwangju, located some 330 kilometers southwest of Seoul, that left hundreds killed and thousands of others injured.

The former dictator, however, has refused to admit his responsibility. In his autobiography, released in April, Chun again denied ordering the crackdown, while labeling the 1980 uprising a riot.

A local court placed an injunction against the sale of Chun's book earlier this month, noting the book had distorted the accounts of facts and history.


The Ministry of National Defense said it will soon create a task force to implement the president's instructions.

"We will form a special investigation team and conduct a special probe as soon as possible," the ministry's spokesman Moon Sang-kyun said in a statement.

If related civic groups request participation in the probe, he added, the ministry will "actively accept" the offer.

He said the ministry will do its best to find the truth behind the allegations through thorough investigation.

Interpreting the historic event is a sensitive issue in the country. A recent movie, titled "A Taxi Driver," has rekindled keen public attention to the incident.

The film is about a German reporter and the South Korean taxi driver who helped him cover the massacre against civilians.


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August 25, 2017

Man reveals relation to ‘A Taxi Driver’ character

Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily

A man claiming to be the son of Kim Sa-bok, the taxi driver who was depicted as the character Kim Man-seob in “A Taxi Driver,” came forward Thursday with documents to prove his relation to Kim after initially making the claims on social media Aug. 5.

“A Taxi Driver,” released on Aug. 2, has become the 15th film in Korean history to surpass the ten million ticket milestone.

The plot deals with Kim Man-seob, a taxi driver based on Kim Sa-bok, who drove Jurgen Hinzpeter, a German journalist to witness the events of the Gwangju massacre.

The search for Kim Sa-bok’s location and identity gained popularity after the movie became a box office hit.

On Aug. 5, a man named Kim Seung-pil came forth on Twitter to announce that he is related to the real Kim Sa-bok, and knows what had happened after the events depicted in the movie.

Kim Sa-bok, who supposedly passed away in 1984 due to liver cancer, was known for being fluent in English, which was how he got to know foreign reporters and eventually met Hinzpeter.

On a local radio broadcast Thursday, the younger Kim revealed that his father owned multiple cars unregistered to taxi companies, which is the reason why the name Kim Sa-bok was not found in any database.

He also provided documents as evidence that his father’s name was Kim Sa-bok.

Currently, the movie production company The Lamp is investigating whether this Kim Sa-bok was the taxi driver who drove Hinzpeter to Gwangju.

By Bae Seung-hoon

Published on August 25, 2017 by K STAR 생방송 스타뉴스


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August 26, 2017

August Movie Actor Brand Reputation Rankings Revealed

Source: Soompi by DY_Kim 


On August 27, the Korean Business Research Institute announced the August brand reputation rankings for movie actors.

The results are based on the analysis of interaction, media coverage, communication, and community indexes for 165,104,765 pieces of big data on 50 actors from July 25 to August 26. This is a 16.53% rise from the 139,284,258 pieces of big data for the July ranking.

Park Seo Joon took first with a total brand reputation score of 9,716,059. Song Kang Ho placed second with a score of 8,815,009, and Jang Dong Gun followed closely behind with a score of 8,174,818. All three actors star in popular movies that are currently in Korean theaters, with Park Seo Joon in “Midnight Runners,” Song Kang Ho in “Taxi Driver,” and Jang Dong Gun in “V.I.P.”

Check out the top 25 of the ranking below:

1. Park Seo Joon
2. Song Kang Ho
3. Jang Dong Gun
4. Song Joong Ki
5. Kang Ha Neul
6. Gong Yoo
7. Ryu Jun Yeol
8. Kim Myung Min
9. Han Ji Min
10. Lee Jong Suk
11. Lee Jung Hyun
12. Kim Nam Gil
13. Yoo Hae Jin
14. Park Hee Soon
15. Lee Byung Hun
16. Hwang Jung Min
17. So Ji Sub
18. Jun Ji Hyun
19. Kim Soo Hyun
20. Lee Jung Jae
21. Kim Yun Seok
22. Go Soo
23. Han Hyo Joo
24. Yeo Jin Goo
25. Im Siwan



Source (1) (2)

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August 28, 2017

[Movie Review] A Taxi Driver showcases the heroism of ordinary people

by Laica Dramabeans.com 

Based on true events, A Taxi Driver stars Song Kang-ho as Kim Man-seob, a man struggling to make a living for himself and his daughter, who gets caught up in a nightmare when he takes an unusual passenger. In the spring of 1980, German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter (Thomas Kretschmann) has flown to Seoul from Tokyo upon hearing unsettling rumors.

Hinzpeter arrives in Seoul to find out that all communication for the southwestern city of Gwangju has been cut off, and official reports tell only of riots. He hires Man-seob to drive him to Gwangju and back for a very generous 100,000 KRW; Man-seob is unaware of the political situation and sees only an opportunity to pay off his debts.


Read the rest of the review at DB taxi1.gif

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August 29, 2017

VIP Squeezes Narrow Victory in Late Summer Opening

by Pierce Conran / KoBiz

With summer coming to an end and the humid heat making way for cooler breezes, cinemas saw a 30% dip in business as one new local release led a string of strong Korean holdovers, giving the domestic industry a commanding 80% advantage in the market.

Unseating three-time champ A Taxi Driver was PARK Hoon-jung’s North Korea-themed serial killer thriller V.I.P., which is the third production by Warner Bros. Korea following KIM Jee-woon’s The Age of Shadows (2016) and LEE Zoo-young’s A Single Rider. The picture debuted with a reasonable 599,000 entries (USD 4.55 million), with 940,000 sales (USD 6.87 million) recorded over its first five days. After a solid opening day on Wednesday, the film began to slow during the weekend and was almost overtaken by a pair of strong local holdovers. 

Down 45% in its fourth weekend was the summer smash A Taxi Driver which added 527,000 viewers (USD 3.87 million) to its tank for an 11.37 million spectator (USD 80 million) haul in 26 days. The film has now overtaken Silmido (2003) to become the 14th highest grossing Korean film of all time and should find its way into the top ten at some point this week.

Just behind during its third spin on the charts was the youth cop comedy Midnight Runners, which secured another 515,000 admissions (USD 3.77 million) after a 39% drop. That gives the film an impressive 4.83 million sales (USD 34.04 million) in 19 days.

Level in fourth place after slowing 53% in week two was HUH Jung’s horror film The Mimic as it brought in another 241,000 viewers (USD 1.73 million), giving it a 1.12 million entries (USD 7.95 million) so far.

Closing out the top five was the sophomore weekend of War for the Planet of the Apes which crashed two places and 70% as it brought in another 203,000 spectators (USD 1.51 million). The sci-fi trilogy capper has accrued 1.95 million admissions (USD 14.31 million).

It was also a strong weekend for indie releases as CHOI Seung-ho’s press censorship doc Criminal Conspiracy dipped just 9% for another 44,000 viewers (USD 328,000) for a strong 149,000 tickets (USD 1.07 million) to date, while KIM Jong-kwan’s star-driven omnibus The Table opened with 25,000 viewers (USD 188,000) in 10th place, with 35,000 entries (USD 256,000) overall.

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August 29, 2017

A TAXI DRIVER Adds $1 Million to Tank in North America
SONG Kang-ho Hit Scores in the US

by Pierce Conran / KoBiz

JANG Hun’s summer hit A Taxi Driver, featuring SONG Kang-ho, is starting to find success abroad, after exceeding USD 1 million in ticket sales at the US box office. The film is the highest grossing film of the year in Korea, where it currently ranks second, with 11.37 million viewers banked (USD 79.61 million) in 26 days.

Distributed by Well Go USA, the film opened on 41 screens across North America on August 11 and passed the USD 1 million mark by August 24. A Taxi Driver had its North American premiere as the closing film of the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal on August 2, where it picked up the Cheval Noir for Best Actor for SONG’s lead performance.

The film follows a German reporter who travels to Seoul in May 1980 when he hears wind of protests down in Gwangju. He hires a cab driven by SONG’s character to take him there and what they find is beyond what both could have imagined. The film co-stars Thomas Kretschmann, YOO Hae-jin and RYU Jun-yeol.

JANG’s work, which follows hits such as Secret Reunion (2010) and The Front Line (2011), has been strongly received by the press in America. It currently has a 93% fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes from 15 reviews, including positive notices from the New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Screen Daily.

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August 24, 2017

A Taxi Driver review (Korean Film)
Jang Hoon’s new blockbuster depicts how the country struggled to win its freedom.

Branko Belan  |  JEJU WEEKLY


"A Taxi Driver" is a South Korean movie by Director Jang Hoon. It has been hugely popular in its home country and has topped the box office for three consecutive weekends.

The year 1980 signaled change throughout the world.

It marked the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war. The Solidarity movement formed in Poland as labourers went on strike to protest the Communist regime in the Eastern European country. Josip Broz Tito, founder of the nonaligned movement, died, paving the way to the destruction of Yugoslavia a decade later, and Ronald Reagan was elected the 40th president of the United States.

Change was on the horizon in South Korea as well thanks to the Gwangju Uprising in May of that year when the first wave of democracy was brutally suppressed by the military dictatorship under Chun Doo-hwan. Hundreds of citizens were killed in the operation ironically known as “Splendid Holiday,” making it the worst instance of repression in modern Korean history.

Jang Hoon’s new movie, A Taxi Driver, was highly anticipated at the beginning of the year. On release, it quickly went on its way to becoming the most popular film in Korean cinema history, having already grossed $71.8 million after three consecutive weeks at the top of the charts.

The movie, in part, serves as a testament to Jurgen Hinzpeter, the German journalist who covered the Gwangju Uprising. By doing this he became one of the few foreign correspondents who was able to tell the story to the rest of the world.

Hinzpeter died last year at the age of 79.

The movie co-stars Song Kang-ho as a taxi driver and single father who can’t seem to catch a break, and Thomas Kretschmann in the role of Hinzpeter.

It is also the second time for Jang and Song to work together on a film. They first teamed up for the film Secret Reunion, a spy movie, which was released in 2010.

The two lead roles in the film are portrayed masterfully. Song embodies the spirit of ordinary Korean people at the time who were striving to transform the country into a democratic society and Kretschmann, who looks unmistakably like the man he is meant to portray in the film, displays the typical steely German nerve required for such a role.

Hinzpeter arrives in Korea working for ARD-NDR and is looking for a way to get to the embattled city. Song, the taxi driver jumps on the chance and takes the journalist down south.

The pair arrive on May 19, a day after the uprising began, to find the city in chaos with military in the streets and students happily singing and dancing. However, a visit to the hospital afterwards paints a real picture of the situation on the ground.

The foreign press were highly prohibited during the uprising so there are several scenes of Hinzpeter trying to conceal his camera so that his footage is not compromised.

Jang plays on regional differences as the lead man. Originally from Seoul, he gets into several disagreements with city taxi drivers but they all band together in the end in a show of defiance and unity against the military forces there to quell the so-called unrest.

The scene when the military storms the local television station in an attempt to black out any media coverage of the event accurately depicts the nature of the South Korean regime at the time and gives the film more credence from a historical perspective. It also magnifies the importance of Kretschmann’s performance as Hinzpeter.

There are other instances of scenes in the movie which echo the actual historical record, although not to the same effect, such as the line of taxi drivers forming a line to protect civilians from the military’s bullets.

The strength of the film overall is the performance of the two leading roles, as well as creating a sense of what life was like in Korea at the time. The language in the film is very real, and creates a sense of emotion which can be clearly understood by all viewers.

The obvious distinction which sets it apart from other films in recent times is that it is based on a true story. For example, "The Battleship Island", a film which is meant to show what life was like for Korean labor slaves on Hashima Island during the period of Japanese occupation does not rely on a historical narrative.

A Taxi Driver is a must see for all who wish to gain a true appreciation for what Korea fought to become almost forty years ago. While the process itself is still in progress, it shows how people were and still are willing to fight for a free and democratic society.

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August 29, 2017

The Faster, the Higher
The Time Taken by Surpassing 10 Million Viewers

by CHO Meanjune / KoBiz


The speed at which popular Korean films are passing the 10,000,000 viewer “blockbuster” mark has tripled. At least this is the case in a simple, parallel comparison of the time it took Silmido (2003), the first Korean film to accomplish the 10 million admissions feat, and A Taxi Driver, the 15th and most current film to do so. The amount of days needed for a film to become a blockbuster has gradually and steadily been decreasing over the past 15 years with a few, but notable deviations. The fastest to reach the over 10 million admissions mark is Roaring Currents (2014), becoming the highest grossing local film of all time with 17,615,039 moviegoers while CHOI Dong-hoon’s independent fighter action flick Assassination (2015) surpassed 10 million viewers on the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japan on August 15th, 2015.

There is a close correlation between the time taken to exceed 10 million viewers and the number of screens. Masquerade (2012) and Miracle in Cell No.7 (2013), which had 810 and 787 screens respectively, took more than 30 days to surpass the milestone while The Thieves (2012), which was shown on 1,072 screens, managed the feat in only 22 days. The three Korean movies that surpassed the 10 million viewer mark within 20 days all started off with more than 1,500 screens. Among the 10 million viewer toppers, TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016) recorded the highest screen share with 1,788 screens.

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September 4, 2017

"A Taxi Driver" entered into the Academy Awards

Source: Sports Donga via HanCinema.net


"A Taxi Driver" has been entered into the 90th Academy Awards Foreign Movie Section. The expression of Asian Human rights and democracy found in this film based on a true story is just one reason for its nomination. This is actor Song Kang-ho's third nomination for the Academy Awards Foreign Movie award after "The Throne" and "The Age of Shadows".

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September 5, 2017

‘A Taxi Driver’ submitted to Academy for Best Foreign Language Film


South Korean historical film “A Taxi Driver” was submitted to the 90th Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, its distributor Showbox said Monday. 

The section allows only one entry per country. Korean films were submitted for the section every year but none made it to the final nominees. In 2016, “The Age of Shadows” was submitted for the section. 

“‘A Taxi Driver,’ based on a real story, well-illustrated the characteristics of Korea as well as human rights and democratization in Asia. Also, (we) thought it would convey well the meaning of the film to many international viewers with its universal humanistic appeal,” Korean Film Council said. 

“A Taxi Driver” tells the story of a cabbie who took a German journalist to the center of the Gwangju pro-democracy movement in May 1980. Since it was released on Aug. 2, the film has drawn more than 11.89 million cinemagoers, as of Monday. 


By Kim So-yeon (syk19372@heraldcorp.com)

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September 5, 2017

THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD Shoots Up Summer Holdovers
A TAXI DRIVER Enters All Time Top Ten

by Pierce Conran / KoBiz

Cinema attendance cooled with the weather over the weekend as the exhibition industry settles into a brief calm before the lengthy holiday season in early October. Admissions clocked in at 1.86 million viewers while Korean product maintained a market share lead but was just short of a majority with 46%.

Coming in first place after an unusually long and aggressive marketing campaign was US action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which brought in 556,000 viewers (USD 4.28 million) over the weekend and 777,000 spectators (USD 5.64 million) since its Wednesday bow. The film has been well received by the public but will have a hard time maintaining its rank with heavy competition on the way.

Midnight Runners rose one spot after slipping a reasonable 44% in its fourth frame. The Lotte Entertainment title added 286,000 admissions (USD 2.10 million) as its total rose to 5.38 million entries (USD 37.38 million). The cop comedy is now the fifth most well-attended film of the year.

Opening with a tepid 249,000 sales (USD 1.89 million) in third place was Luc Besson’s sci-fi fantasy Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. In five days the film has sold 370,000 tickets (USD 2.62 million).

As it begins its roll out of theaters, summer hit A Taxi Driver slowed 55% as it welcomed another 238,000 viewers (USD 1.75 million), bringing its total to 11.86 million spectators (USD 82.55 million), past the lifetime total of TaeGukGi: Brotherhood Of War (2004) and into the all time top ten for Korean films.

Crashing four spots and 77% in its second frame was PARK Hoon-jung’s North Korea thriller V.I.P., which mustered another 136,000 admissions (USD 1.01 million) for an underwhelming total of 1.32 million entries (USD 9.31 million).

Horror remake IT and local serial killer thriller MEMOIR OF A MURDERER both open this week and should breathe a little life into the slow September box office.

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September 6, 2017

‘A Taxi Driver’ to vie for the Academy Awards

Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily


“A Taxi Driver,” featuring Song Kang-ho, was selected as the South Korean representative for the Foreign Language Category at the 90th Academy Awards according to distribution company Showbox on Tuesday.

This is significant news, as only one film per country may compete for the award each year.

This is Song’s third consecutive film that has been selected to be submitted as the country’s representative for the category, after “The Throne” and “The Age of Shadows.”

“‘A Taxi Driver’ was chosen because of factors such as being based on a true story, depicting Korean history of the democratic movement and its struggles,” said one judge who was a part of choosing the film as Korea’s nominee.

“The quality performances [in the film] will ring with audiences worldwide,” said the panel.

Song, widely considered as an accomplished actor for his performances in Korean film industry, is an Academy member, like other notable Korean cinema figures director Bong Joon-ho and actor Lee Byung-hun, which allows him to vote for the Academy Awards. 

“A Taxi Driver” depicts the journey of an unassuming taxi driver, who carried a German reporter to the scenes of Gwangju Democratic Movement in May 1980.

By Bae Seung-hoon

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September 7, 2017

Taxi driver’s identity is confirmed

Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily


The taxi driver who the lead character of the movie “A Taxi Driver” was based on and whose existence has been debated, has been confirmed as Kim Sa-bok.

“I’m glad to be able to commemorate my father in a way he deserved, revealing the truth to the public,” said Kim Seung-pil, son of Kim Sa-bok, on Wednesday.

He revealed a photograph of Jurgen Hinzpeter with his father to the media, and the movie production reported that they had received confirmation from the wife of the late reporter.

Kim assumed that the photo in question was taken prior to the interview Hinzpeter held with Ham Seok-heon, a human rights activist.

According to Kim, his father was not strictly a taxi driver but a man who mainly worked with foreign reporters because he owned two private vehicles used as “hotel taxis.”

“My father received the schedules of foreign guests weeks in advance and briefed them about his viewpoints not just as a taxi driver but as a guide,” says Kim.

Kim Sa-bok passed away in 1984 due to cancer. His son hopes that his father’s remains are moved to the memorial to Hinzpeter in the Mangwon-dong cemetery in Gwangju’s Buk district, the site where those who were killed during the Gwangju Democratic Movement are buried.

“Just as the movie showed, my father knew what was happening in Gwangju when he went there. He was filled with conviction, and I hope that his dedication remains in people’s minds,” said Kim.

By Bae Seung-hoon

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September 10, 2017

'A Taxi Driver’ becomes 10th most-viewed Korean film


Song Kang-ho stars in “A Taxi Driver.” (Showbox)

“A Taxi Driver” has become the first film this year to surpass the 12 million-ticket mark as of Saturday, according to the Korean Film Council. 

The film has sold 12,023,670 tickets in total, becoming the 10th most-viewed Korean film in the country. It sold some 40,000 tickets on Saturday alone. 

The ninth most-viewed Korean film is “King and the Clown” (2005) by Lee Joon-ik, with 12,302,831 tickets sold. 

“A Taxi Driver,” directed by Jang Hoon, has been popular since it opened here on Aug. 2. 

It stars Song Kang-ho as Man-seob, a widowed taxi driver who takes the German journalist Peter, played by Thomas Kretschmann, to Korea’s southern city of Gwangju to witness the May 18 Democratization Movement. The film also stars Ryu Jun-yeol and Yoo Hae-jin. 

The movie was submitted to the 90th Academy Award for best foreign language film, its distributor Showbox said on Sept. 4. 


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September 10, 2017

'A Taxi Driver' 10th most-watched film in Korean history 

By Chyung Eun-ju, Park Si-soo The Korea Times

The Korean movie "A Taxi Driver," a semi-fictional story based on the Gwangju massacre on May 18, 1980, has attracted 12 million viewers, making it the nation's 10th most watched film.

The film reached the landmark on Saturday afternoon, 39 days after its release, according to data from Korean Box Office Information System (KOBIS).

The movie is still popular ― 400,000 saw it on Saturday alone ―so it is soon expected to overtake ninth-placed "The King and the Clown," which attracted 1.23 million viewers in 2005.

"A Taxi Driver," starring Song Kang-ho, was the South Korean entry in the Foreign Language Category at the 90th Academy Awards.

The film depicts the journey of an unassuming taxi driver named Kim Sa-bok, who carried a German reporter to the Gwangju massacre.


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