Korean Retrospective – Political Highlights
THE AGE OF SHADOWS
(South Korea – 2016)
Director: Jee-woon Kim
Writers: Jee-woon Kim, Ji-min Lee, Jong-dae Park Cast: Kang-ho Song, Byung-hun Lee, Yoo Gong Runtime: 140 min
Sick of Jason Bourne and his like? Glad the new James Bond – who got infected by Covid-19 – got moved to November? But what do think of good old-fashioned cloak-and-dagger espionage in 20’s occupied Korea? Kang-ho Son (PARASITE, SNOWPIERCER) and Yoo Gong (TRAIN TO BUSAN) are simply going through the roof and director Jee- woon Kim (I SAW THE DEVIL) is behind the wheel and he rarely takes his foot off the gas! Classy and filled with one rip-roaring action piece after another.
THE ADMIRAL: ROARING CURRENTS
(South Korea – 2014)
Director: Kim Han-min
Writers: Jeon Cheol-hong & Kim Han-min Cast: Choi Min-sik, Ryu Seung-ryong, Jin-woong Cho
Runtime: 126 min
Roaring Currents is the spectacular adaptation of the most important sea battle in Korean history, led by Admiral Yi Sun-shin, played by Choi Min-sik (OLD BOY). Despite his impressive state of service, Yi is suspected of treason and gets imprisoned and tortured. After it becomes clear that he’s the victim of a conspiracy, Yi gets released immediately to command what’s left of the Korean fleet. Thirteen ships will have to face a Japanese invasion force of more than 300 ships. What follows is a breathtaking battle that will decide the future of the Korean nation. An epic super-production that broke all box- office records in Korea.
THE SPY GONE NORTH
(South Korea -2018)
Director: Jong-bin Yoon
Writer: Sung-hui Kwon
Cast: Jung-min Hwang, Jin-Woong Cho, Sung-min
Runtime: 137 min The Spy Gone North is based on the incredible but true story of Black Venus, a South-Korean spy who, during the regime of Kim Jong-il in the 90ties, pretended to be a businessman and managed to infiltrate the highest circles of the North Korean regime, drinking sessions with the supreme leader included. But that was only half the story, because the political intrigues of South-Korean politicians, who weren’t shy of creating armed confrontations with the North to influence elections, were an ever bigger threat to Black Venus than the security apparatus of Kim Jong-il’s regime. Jung-min Hwang (THE WAILING) as Black Venus has to evade death, discovery and torture so many times that your heart will forget to beat. A terrific, nailbiting political thriller by Jong-bin Yoon (NAMELESS GANGSTER).