On May 18, 1980, the city of Gwangju rose up against the oppressive military regime of dictator Chun Doo Hwan, who seized control through a military coup in 1979. Known as the Gwangju Uprising, this democracy movement was brutally suppressed by the government, and is now remembered as one of the most important events of modern Korean history. May 18 brings back this painful piece of Korean history with a powerful story that appeals to all generations. A big budget summer blockbuster with a remarkable cast line-up that includes Ahn Sung Ki (Radio Star), Kim Sang Kyung (World of Silence), Lee Yo Won (When Romance Meets Destiny), and Lee Jun Ki (King And The Clown), May 18 brilliantly captures the look and feel of the period with a detailed replica of the city filled with props from the early '80s. Directed by Kim Ji Hoon (Mokpo, Gangster's Paradise), the historical fiction focuses on personal accounts as told by average civilians like taxi drivers, nurses, students, teachers, and clergymen, and depicts their bitter struggles against the ruthless violence from their own government. A triumph of humanism, May 18 proves that freedom and democracy did not occur overnight but through a chain of tumultuous events marked by the sacrifices of many ordinary heroes.
Min Woo (Kim Sang Kyung) leads a normal, complacent life as a taxi driver in the city of Gwangju. After losing his parents at an early age, his brother Jin Woo (Lee Jun Ki) is his only existing family. Life couldn't get better when Min Woo falls head over hills in love with Sin Ae (Lee Yo Won), a nurse who attends the same church as Jin Woo. But suddenly, all the little pleasures in life that he had taken for granted fall apart when he hears of his fellow townspeople being brutally killed by the military army. Desperate to protect the innocent citizens from callous bloodshed, Min Woo joins a civilian army formed under the direction of retired officer Heong Soo (Ahn Sung Ki). As darkness and terror overcast the city, Min Woo wonders if there will ever be an end to the madness. This edition includes audio commentaries by director Kim Ji Hoon and cast members.
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