The latest Korean movie to use horse racing as its backdrop opens in cinemas across the country today.
“Champ”, Starring Cha Tae Hyeon as a jockey and child star Kim Seeo Jeong as his daughter, the movie is (very) loosely based on the story of Korean racehorse Luna, who went through the sales ring unsold as a two-year old as she was believed to be too broken down to race. She went on to recover and become a multiple Stakes winner at Busan Racecourse.
The movie is being released to catch the Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) market and is therefore aimed at families who have been forced together for a few days and are at each others’ throats and want to go somewhere they don’t need to talk to each other.
That would suggest that, just like last year’s “Grand Prix”, we’re not talking Academy Award winning stuff. However, that the movie is directed by Lee Hwan Gyeong who was responsible for “Gakseoltang” – by far the best Korean racing movie to date – offers hope that it won’t be completely terrible.
The Korea Racing Authority has part funded the movie and the press conference to launch it was held at Seoul Racecourse after simul-casting last Friday. The KRA is using the movie as part of a renewed drive to popularise racing and to encourage racehorse ownership.