The President's Barber (Korean: 효자동 이발사; Hyojadong Ibalsa) is a 2004 South Korean comedy drama directed by Im Chan Sang that follows a barber (Song Kang-ho) and his family as he becomes a barber for Korea's president and is present during important moments of the country's history.
It was released on May 5, 2004.
Tropes for the film:
- Adult Fear: Amid a Marxus Disease epidemic, Han-mo's son Nak-an get diarrhea, and leaves him at the police station, for him to be put under temporary care. Nak-an is then taken away by the government on suspicion of being a North Korean spy, and is tortured for information, very lightly, because he's a child. Han-mo and his wife Min-ja are without their son for weeks on end. Finally, Nak-an is sent back to them but he can't walk.
- Been There, Shaped History: Seong Han-mo is a simple barber caught up in an espionage plot and is hired to be the official barber of President Park Chung-hee. While cutting his hair Han-mo inadvertently sends Park into a rant about intellectuals. He was also present at Park's state visit to America.
- Eat the Evidence: Han-mo scrapes the paint off of a portrait of President Park as a cure for his son's paralysis and stores it in a small container. Unfortunately, he is pursued by the former president's men so he eats the container so nobody would ask questions. This causes him a lot of pain afterwards as he has to excrete the container and wash it so he can get the paint out.
- Historical Domain Character: Park Chung-hee, President of South Korea from 1963 until his assassination in 1979.