[UPDATE: Added English-subtitled version of the trailer.]
Every great sports movie needs adversity to overcome and in the process of the competition, an unlikely camaraderie bond is forged among the teammates. Through unity, the human spirit has been lifted, leading them to the path of glory. This is the heart of the story in As One (코리아 ), a sports drama based on an actual event of the first unified South Korea-North Korea table tennis team at the 1991 world championships in Chiba City, Japan. The fact that two rival neighboring country can set aside their differences and join forces for the common good is enough for me to stand up and cheer.
Directed by Moon Hyun-Sung, the two main leads include Ha Ji-Won (Sector 7, Haeundae) as Hyun Jung-hwa, the South Korean player at the championships and Bae Doo-Na (The Host, Doomsday Book) as Li Bun-hui, the North Korean player and Hyun's doubles partner.
South Korean ping-pong star HYUN Jung-hwa and North Korea's LI Bun-hui have each been defeated by Chinese player DENG Yaping--a.k.a. "The Ping-Pong Witch" --every time they reach a tournament's finals. Teaming up as a United Korea for the first time in 1991 at the World Table Tennis Championships in Chiba City, Japan makes for moments of crisis and bungled coordination, but game-by-game, HYUN and LI become a true team.
But then comes the announcement that the United Korea team will be inexplicably disbanded. On the morning before the women's doubles finals against China and knowing the Unified Korea team is stronger, HYUN pleads with the coaches and players of the North Korean team to not break them up. She tells them: "I want to play on the United Korea team."
The North Korean side is moved beyond ideology and allows the North Korean players to play on the United Korean team. The women's doubles team goes on to defeat China in the finals, becoming the first and the last United Korea team ever to win gold.
Its set for theatrical release on May 3rd. You'll find the trailer and teaser (English-subtitled version) embedded below.