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Politics take center stage in popular South Korean films

Cinema comes of age as country becomes more liberal

The Woo Min-ho-directed “The Man Standing Next” is set around the 1979 assassination of South Korean President Park Chung-hee.

HONG KONG -- When director Woo Min-ho first thumbed through the novel "The Man Standing Next," he knew he had found the perfect template for a film that could tap into increasing domestic and global interest in South Korea's often fractured political history.

"Films that deal with the painful political past have been well-received by the critics and gained commercial success [recently]," said Woo. "Also, there are many TV series that depict and criticize social and political weaknesses. I believe today [Korean audiences] are almost entirely open-minded."

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