A sassy ensemble comedy in which a small-town hooker runs for a senate seat, “The First Amendment” is probably a bit too local in political details to make much commercial impact beyond Korean borders, though the well-scripted effort (which would easily translate to a remake) packs an emotional punch in the final reel. Film flopped on release in April but could find an audience in offshore, Asian-centered events, given its overall theme which is universal: cynicism over politicians and the political process.
Following the death of a leading politician, South Korea’s two parties end up with 136 seats each in the senate, and all eyes turn to the town of Surak where a decisive election will be held. When ruling party candidate Oh Man-bong (Kim Yong-gun) runs on a “sunshine” ticket, promising to rid the burg of prostitution, feisty hooker Go Eun-bi (Ye Ji-weon, from “Turning Gate”) is urged by her colleagues to run against him. Shot in an actual red-light district (in Jeonju), pic has an earthy feel for the bottom-line solidarity of Go and the other women, and the comedy is broad and up-front without being overplayed.