7:30 PM, 30th August, 2018
Presented in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea
South Korea has recently been specialising in making tense thrillers out of their own 20th century history, freely embellishing real events in order to get fast-paced, often unflinchingly violent nail-biters. This one requires less embellishment than usual.
1987: When the Day Comes tells the story of the fall of the military dictatorship that, since 1979, had been postponing democratic elections. The latter part of the title refers to the promise that elections would one day be held, a promise which looked like it could be deferred indefinitely. But a cascade failure came in the summer of 1987, triggered by the state-sanctioned torture and death of a student.
This story shows small, but risky, acts of defiance, as they ricochet from player to player. Two of the key players could not be more different: a hard-boiled state prosecutor (Ha Jung-Woo) who really can’t be bothered covering up any more; and at the other end of the chain, a young student (Kim Tae-Ri) who initially just wants to enjoy her time at university, and understandably, not get shot.
You must be alert to catch everything in between the two – the film doesn’t slow down for stragglers – but your attention will be well repaid.