A Taxi Driver Review from KOFFIA

I attended Korea Film Festival again to watch the movei, A Taxi Driver, which is based on a democratic revolution in Gwangju, South Korea. A brave German journalist with the help of a taxi driver cross the military warning line twice into Gwangju to shoot and expose the dark side in the army. Inspired by the true historical story, it shows the human right and democration process in Asia with special meaning.


The story happened from May 18th to 27th in 1980. At that time, citizens requested for freedom and democratization while the head office made the order that violent procedure had to be taken. Therefore, a large number of students and citizens dead. The journalist took the risk of recording the miserable scene which helped to boost the process of democratization in Korea. Korean government forced the media to block all information and intended to hide the real number of death and injured people. What’s more, the public who requested for democratization have been recognized as violence. We cannot imagine that this group of people will take the fame of “violence” in the whole life and the truth will never be noticed without this German journalist. And the taxi driver, he is just a ordinary people in the world. But it is so touching that when a normal person just like you and me faced with oppression and power, he made the right choice to stand out to save people. That is so called humantarian. It is not about Korea only anymore. It is about everyone in the world.

In fact, the record could be regarded as a miracle in Korea. For the film itself, it might not be an excellent work like there are some imperfect details in the process. But the most important is that a valuable film could provoke audiences to consider, to seek out the truth. And film makers are able to have a deep talk with the public. In my opinion, there is no doubt that A Taxi Driver makes it. The meaning it carries and the effect it brings are much more appreciated than the production.

However, this movie has been blocked in mainland China because it is similar to Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in China. As a media student, I am shame on the blocking behavior that the government never tell the truth and never admit the mistake they had made. The history might be dark and ugly. While since the government is willing to show people they were wrong and they are trying to do the right things, then it will be beneficial for the country to make progress. And it is so lucky that Korean film producers have freedom to make different themes of films. It is so glad that social issues are always paid attention and applied into art work creation in Korea. For example, a 2011 Korean film Silenced, the story about child molestation had raised the public’s focus and the government issued and improved the related law. I hope the good start can also affect other countries.

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