The president's last bang

The president's last bang

DVD - 2006 | Korean
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A recreation of the events leading up to the assassination of South Korean president Chun-hee Park in 1979.
Publisher: New York : Kino on Video, [2006]
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (104 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


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Sep 26, 2013

This is a 2005 satiric black comedy directed by Im Sang-soo about the events leading to and the aftermath of the assassination of Korean President Park Chung-hee by his close friend and Korean Intelligence Agency director Kim Jae-kyu. The fictional portrayal of the former President has raised a storm of controversy, leading to a suit against the film by Park Chung-hee's only son, Park Ji-man. In 2005, a ruling by the Seoul Central Court ordered that 3 minutes and 50 seconds of documentary footage (mostly of demonstrations) be censored out of the film. In response, the director had the excised footage replaced with a blank screen for its running time. During its theatrical run, both nationally and internationally, only the censored version was shown. The ruling was appealed, and in August 2006 overturned, with the court issuing the following statement: "We must broadly confirm the right of free expression concerning the depiction of public historical figures." Despite the taboo-subject, the director dared to show what happened in the political coup. Although I admire his courage to challenge the taboo, it is a pity that the director didn't show what really happened in the mind of Director Kim who actually shot the president. I'd rather like to see its documentary instead of the black comedy.

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