The Korea Herald


‘12.12: The Day,’ story of 1979 Coup, confirms Nov. 22 release

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Oct. 27, 2023 - 15:01

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“12.12: The Day” (Plus M Entertainment) “12.12: The Day” (Plus M Entertainment)

“12.12: The Day,” a political drama revisiting a coup led by a Korean military that took place in 1979, is set to be released Nov. 22 in Korean cinemas, its distributor Plus M Entertainment said Friday.

The film covers the nine hours on Dec. 12, 1979, during an attempted coup in Seoul. Although the film’s motif is based on a real event, the names of the characters have been altered to allow for a fictionalized plot line, according to the director Kim Seong-su, who has helmed various hit action noirs here, including “Beat” (1997), “City of the Rising Sun” (1999) and “Asura: The City of Madness” (2016).

Prolific actor Hwang Jung-min stars as Chun Doo-gwang, a core officer in the new military that instigates the coup attempt. Jung Woo-sung plays Lee Tae-shin, a commander who tries to stop Chun’s secret plan. Lee Seong-min and Park Hae-joon also appear as other officers.

“12.12: The Day” was produced by Hive Media Corp., the company behind the production of “The Man Standing Next” (2020) which looked at the assassination of former president Park Chung-hee on Oct. 26 in 1979.

Director Kim said his film started out from the memories of his childhood.

“I was living in Hannam-dong when I was young and I heard the sound of gunfire that night. I was terrified to hear the inconstant gunfire that continued for over 20 minutes. I can’t forget that day,” he said.

“I tried to look for news and do the research on the reason behind that gunfire, but couldn’t hear any detailed stories on it. After a while, I found out about the incident that day, and came to wonder how the fate of the country has changed on that day,” he said, explaining how he came to start this project.

“12.12: The Day” hits local theaters on Nov. 22.