Synopsis

South Korean filmmaker Im Sang-su (A Good Lawyer's Wife) tackles the assassination of President Park Chun-hee (Song Jae-Ho) in his political satire The President's Last Bang. Im focuses on the internecine bickering and jockeying for position that took place among the dictator's closest advisors. Park was in the midst of a brutal crackdown on student protestors, angry workers, and others whom he saw as a threat to his regime. As the film opens, KCIA Chief Agent Ju (Han Suk-Gyu of Shiri) is getting rid of a hooker and her overzealous mother while President Park prepares for a banquet at his safe house with disgruntled KCIA Director Kim (Baek Yun-shik of Save the Green Planet!), Chief Secretary Yang (Gweon Byeong-Gil), and Chief Bodyguard Cha (Jeong Weon-Jung), who has already offended Ju and Kim with his malicious "office politics," and two charming young ladies, a well-known pop singer (Kim Yun-Ah) and a co-ed (Cho Eun-ji). Kim has just had an unhappy doctor's visit, and been told he's suffering from a bad liver and chronic fatigue. Apparently pushed to the breaking point, he enlists his underlings, Ju and Colonel Min (Kim Eung-soo) in a deadly plot. Im insists that while some of the dialogue was necessarily invented, his film tells the story of what actually happened on that historic night in 1979. Park's relatives, still politically active in the country's right wing, sued the filmmaker and successfully kept him from using archival footage of the president in the film's final cut. The President's Last Bang was selected by the Film Society of Lincoln Center for inclusion in the 2005 New York Film Festival. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

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