After the passing of his wife, Kim Man Seob (Song Kang Ho) is left with an overwhelming number of hospital bills and a young daughter, whom he now has to raise on his own. A hard-working taxi driver traversing the streets of Seoul in 1980, Man Seob is doing everything he can to make ends meet, but it never seems to be enough. Until the day Fate decides to give him a little wink. Overhearing another taxi driver talking about a foreign client willing to pay a substantial amount of money to anyone willing to drive him to Gwangju and back, before curfew, Man Seob takes the job.
A West German journalist hoping to report on the increasing civil unrest in Gwangju, Jürgen “Peter” Hinzpeter (Thomas Kretschmann), knows he’s risking his life for this story. With foreign reporters prohibited from entering the country, he has used the role of missionary and businessman to get as far as Seoul, but it’s not far enough if he hopes to cover this breaking story. Meeting Man Seob, the two set off for Gwangju, only to find that all roads leading into the city are not only blocked, but also heavily guarded. Undeterred by the danger ahead, the two find a more creative way into the city, only to find themselves caught up in the escalating events unfolding around them.
Unintentional participants in the uprising, Man Seob and Peter soon find themselves befriending strangers from all walks of life as they attempt to document the severity of the situation, all while trying to outrun the law. Short on time and running thin on luck, the brave pair must find a way to get home before it’s too late.
Based on a real-life story, “A Taxi Driver” is a 2017 historical action film directed by Jang Hoon.