A Taxi Driver (2017) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • A widowed father and taxi driver who drives a German reporter from Seoul to Gwangju to cover the 1980 uprising, soon finds himself regretting his decision after being caught in the violence around him.

  • May 1980. A Seoul taxi driver named Man-seob (SONG Kang-ho) comes across an offer too good to be true. If he drives a foreign passenger from Seoul down to Gwangju and back again before the curfew, he'll be paid the unthinkable sum of 100,000 won - enough to cover several months of unpaid rent. Without stopping to ask the details, he picks up the German reporter Peter (Thomas Kretschmann) and sets off along the highway. Although stopped by police roadblocks at the edge of Gwangju, Man-seob is desperate to earn his taxi fare, and eventually manages to find a way into the city. There they encounter students and ordinary citizens taking part in large-scale demonstrations against the government. Man-seob, alarmed by the danger in the air, pleads with Peter to go quickly back to Seoul. But Peter ignores him, and with the help of a university student Jae-sik (RYU Jun-yeol) and a Gwangju taxi driver named HWANG (YOO Hai-jin), begins shooting with his news camera. As time passes the situation grows more and more serious, and Man-seob keeps thinking of his young daughter at home all alone.



The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The movie starts with Kim Man-seob drives his way in a college. He sees many people protesting, and a tear grenade is fired. He mutters that they are so ungrateful. He sees a pregnant woman and sends her to the hospital at her request. He goes home and sees his daughter waiting for him. They have dinner together. Meanwhile, German reporter Peter is talking and decides to go to Gwangju to see what is happening as no word is said about it. Upon hearing that he can get $100,000 Kim quickly drives over and takes him to Gwangju, where the army is guarding. Using trickery they manage to get through (despite Kim protesting that the army has sealed them off.) They arrive and see a truck of students. When Peter is talking in English, the students send in Jae-sik to talk to him. They welcome him, but Kim runs away, only to find a extremely worried and tired old lady. He brings her to the hospital, where she finds her son. He runs into Peter and the students. When Peter gives Kim the 100,000, the other taxi drivers there angrily snatches it away, then Kim gives Peter all the money he gave Kim. Kim invites Peter to come with him. Jae-sik also follows along. They refill the gas and after that, Jae-sik, Peter, and Kim all go up a building for Peter to film. There are thousands of people protesting, and soon the army arrives and beats anyone that is in their way. Everyone is running. Despite Kim trying to pull Peter away, he stays there and continues filming. Jae-sik screams at them to watch out. All of them run with the army on their heels. They manage to escape with Kim's taxi. They meet Hwang Tae-sool, a kind-hearted driver who tries to fix their car. Peter gives Kim the money to fix, but Kim throws the money away and the two start fighting until Kim is slammed into the car. They go into a house where they eat. A newspaper is printing out what really happened when their boss arrests everyone inside. Kim, Peter and everyone else sees a blast. They go into the university where it is burning and filled with smoke. Despite all of it, Peter continues filming. After escaping the army, Peter drops the cap and Jae-sik goes to pick it, only to be taken hostage by an someone in the army. He threatens to shoot Jae-sik if they do not give the recording. Jae-sik tells them to go, and as they go they hear a gunshot, then Jae-sik telling them to go again. The next day, Kim leaves, but as he is leaving, Tae-sool gives him a new license plate, and directions. After taking a phone call and eating, Kim goes back to Gwangju. They find dead people in the hospital. Soon the people realize that anyone who tried to save the wounded would be shot. Kim, Tae-sool, and several other taxi drivers manage to save them. Tae-sool tells them to leave. Reluctantly, Kim and Peter leave. They find another military guarding it, but a kind leader lets them go, but as they go someone contacts them to get them. They open fire at the taxi, but somehow Kim and Peter manages to survive it. Trucks arrive and are about to destroy the taxi, but Tae-sool and the remaining taxi drivers come to distract them. Despite all of them dying, Kim and Peter makes it to safety. After knowing the government has shut off Peter's flight the next day at 9 A.M, Peter changes it. Peter abandons the camera but brings the clip. Soon it is 23 years in the future. Peter is giving

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