South Korea’s Tabloid Truth from director Kim Kwang-sik is coming to North American theatres on March 7. A scandalous rumor about up-and-coming actress Mi Jin is included as a gossip item in a stock market tipsheet and propagated by the tabloids, causing her to take her own life. Woo Gon (Kim Kang-woo), the actress’s long-time devoted manager who dedicated everything to building her career, initiates a vengeful investigation to expose the sources of the malicious rumor. With unexpected assistance from a tabloid distributor Mr. Park (Jeong Jin-yeong) and a legendary wiretapper Baek Moon (Ko Chang-seok), Woo unravels the opaque and lucrative world of secret tips and salacious rumors.
In today’s ever more connected society, everyone has an almost instantaneous platform to share information with the world, which then can spread like wildfire through social media, blogs, online media and even reach the front pages of the most respected news institutions. Unfortunately, rumors repeated often enough become mistaken as fact and, coupled with one of the world’s highest rates of suicide, a lethal weapon. Recent years have seen a shocking number of high profile Korean actresses found dead of suicide after suffering from depression after being maligned and bullied online.
Tabloid Truth is the first movie to address the sensationalistic and poisonous tabloid culture of South Korea, where rumor mongering drives lucrative traffic while also wreaking unaccountable havoc on its victims’ lives.
Tabloid Truth portrays a particularly insidious and unexpected forum for tabloid gossip mongering: the stock market tipsheet. In weekly secret meetings consisting of corporate personnel, politicians, reporters, public officials, and others, insiders exchange information about the latest goings-on. The collected intelligence is published into a tip sheet and distributed through paid subscriber channels before getting picked up by the tabloids as juicy blind items. What makes this combination particularly toxic is the sheen of respectability and truth given by the financial market players involved. “What would they gain by lying? It must be true...”
Tabloid Truth keeps the audience waiting for the next big revelation as Woo-gon (played by Kim Kang-woo) digs deep into the world of scandal mongering and discovers the enigmatic individuals responsible for sourcing, trading, and distributing these nuggets, factual or imagined.