This is it! The film I waited a loooooong time to see and boy, was it worth it! May, 1980. Man-seob is a widowed Seoul Taxi Driver who lives in a rented apartment with his daughter and is way behind on the rent. Meanwhile, in Tokyo, German journalist Jürgen Hinzpeter hears of the civil unrest happening in Gwangju, South Korea and decides to go there for rare on-the-ground coverage. When Man-seob hears of a foreigner willing to pay 100,000won for a return trip to Gwangju, he immediately rushes to the scene and together, they both set out in the Taxi and literally ride into the Gwangju Uprising, where they meet Jae-sik, an English-speaking student protestor and Tae-soo, a local taxi driver. A Taxi Driver manages to live up to its excellent reputation in every way! The scenes of riotings are especially well-shot. But the heart of the film lies with the characters, and the actors playing them. Asian films usually have a poor track record of casting Western actors in films, but Thomas Kretschmann is excellent as Hinzpeter. However, this is undoubtedly a Song Kang-ho vehicle and he is, as always, absolutely first-rate! This man could pretty much sit on a stage and read me the alphabet and I would still be mesmerised! Is it any wonder that the last three South Korean submissions to the Oscars have all been Song Kang-ho films? An incredible true story that deserves repeat viewing, A Taxi Driver has gotten a stellar bluray release from @smlifedesigngroup.
The goodies, including a duplicate Kim Man-seob taxi license and Hinzpeter’s passport, are too good to describe. Oh, and my set came with a card signed by director Jang Hoon ☺️ A Taxi Driver comes with my absolute highest recommendation.
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