Korean pic tackles sensitive topic

SEOUL — A $10 million-budget pic about the 1980 Gwangju massacre, South Korea’s equivalent to China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square protest, begins filming next month.

Financed and distributed by local major CJ Entertainment, “Hwaryeohan hyuga” will star vet thesp Ahn Sung-ki (“Silmido”) and up-and-coming star Lee Joon-ki (“King and the Clown”). The city of Gwangju will co-invest in the project.

Kim Ji-hoon (“Mokpo Gangster’s Paradise”) is lined up to direct. Pic will be produced by Keyweck-shidae, which tackled political topics in “A Single Spark” (1995), about Korean labor activist Jeon Tae-il.

The film covers May18-27, 1980, when thousands of students and citizens in Gwangju were killed by armed troops during massive antigovernment demonstrations. The events remain politically contentious, with some locals believing U.S. military commanders stationed in Seoul may have given their implicit consent to the orders.

Release is skedded for March.

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