Why did Moon Jae-in, a human rights lawyer who hated politics, become president? During five years at the Blue House, why didn't he use his power? Why did he just silently plant flowers while being sworn at by protesters? One by one, those who watched him reveal their hidden stories. "Why did he become president?" "Why did we want Moon Jae-in to be president at that time?" The puzzle pieces come together at last.
Director LEE Changjae has created documentaries that contemplate the meaning of life and the irony of fate. This theme permeates through his films: Between portrays a shaman whose life disappears the moment she becomes possessed; On the Road observes a Buddhist nun who renounces the world in search of truth; The Hospice discovers the meaning of life in a hospice; and OUR PRESIDENT depicts a president who ends his life despite becoming an icon of his era. With this film, the director adds a new individual to his filmography and rises to the challenge again. The central figure, this time, is a president who has taken a step back from power.
Most films that deal with politicians focus on their process of grabbing power and their time in office. However, this documentary chooses an unconventional narrative and shows the former president surrounded by his wife, dog, and secretary right after his term, spending his days doing household chores and tending the garden. Old colleagues and those who worked for him during his time in office speak about his habits, attitude, and methods as a politician and recount the events in Korean politics over the last few years. However, all these accounts serve as witnesses for an image of just one man trying to live out his ordinary days grounded, not in some paradise, but on Earth, rather than highlighting the political achievements of a president who upheld the system of democracy.
The former president’s attempt to put his political life in the past and live his present at home is marred by the shouts of a few extremists and the worry that decisions he made in the past may not have been for the best. But his concentration on planting and caring for budding life and his silence in the face of mocking and swearing may be the exact attitude and hope he carried toward the democratic world he dreamt of, with the people that love and support him. (Sung MOON)
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