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Court Orders 'President's Last Bang' to Be Edited

2005/01/31 | Permalink | Source

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

A Seoul court on Monday ruled that an upcoming feature film dealing with the assassination of former President Park Chung-hee can be only shown on condition that it takes out actual footage of the incident.

The ruling comes after Park Ji-man, the only son of the president, submitted a provisional disposition to the Seoul Central Court late last month in an attempt to stop the release of "The President's Last Bang (Kuddae Ku Saramdul)", a film about the president's death on Oct. 26, 1979.

The court ruled the film a distorted and biased account of the president and may dishonor his reputation. However, the film does not go as far as to damage the public's ability to objectively evaluate the incident, as it is obvious that it is a fictional account and a black comedy whose main purpose is to satirize, the court said.

On the other hand, the court found that the film's use of documentary footage from that era makes it possible for an audience to confuse the film with reality. The court ordered KangJeGyu & Myung Film, the company behind the movie, to take out these scenes, which total 3 minutes and 50 seconds and include footage of civil demonstrations in Pusan against Park and Park's funeral in Seoul.

Regarding the decision of the court, KangJeGyu & Myung Film made an official statement that they will take legal action. However, the company said the film will still be released Thursday and will show a blank screen in place of the documentary footage.

"The President's Last Bang" is directed by Im Sang-soo of "A Good Lawyer's Wife (Paramnan Kajok)" and stars Baek Yoon-sik as a character based on Kim Jae-kyu, then chief of the Korea Central Intelligence Agency who shot and killed the president and Kim's political rival, Cha Ji-chul. The incident took place during a party at the president's "safe house", an unregistered location for the late president managed by KCIA, in Kungjung-dong, Seoul.

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