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"May 18" Tops 7 Million Admissions

2007/09/04 Source

According to the latest box office, historical-tragedy "May 18", has surpassed 7 million ticket sales as of September 3, making it the highest grossing Korean-language film of the year. The Korean-produced but English-language "D-War" is thus far the overall box office champion of 2007. "May 18" is directed by Kim Ji-hoon, previously responsible for "Mokpo, Gangster's Paradise" (2005).

On "May 18", 1980 the government under then military general CHUN Doo-hwan, sent in troops to put down a civilian uprising. The repressive policies of general CHUN, who had ordered the shut down of universities, outlawed protests, censored the press, and arrested his political opposition, resulted in the Gwangju Uprising. Troops entered the city and fired into the crowds killing hundreds of civilians.

While several films have dealt with issues surrounding the Gwangju Massacre, including "The Old Garden" (2006), "Peppermint Candy" (1999), and "A Petal" (1995), "May 18" is the first to directly focus on the actual events leading up to that tragic day as experienced by Gwangju residents. The film is about Min-woo, played by Kim Sang-kyung ("On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate", "Memories of Murder"), who joins the citizen militia charged with protecting demonstrators against government violence.

Others in the talented cast include Lee Joon-gi ("The King and the Clown"), Lee Yo-won ("Take Care of My Cat"), Song Jae-ho ("Memories of Murder"), Na Moon-hee ("You are my Sunshine") and veteran actor Ahn Sung-ki. It is produced by Yoo In-taek ("A Single Spark") and is the second feature from director Kim. CJ Entertainment is handling distribution and international sales for the film.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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