Seoul CentralDistrict Court dismissed the defamation suit against ImSang-soo's ThePresident's Last Bang to be screened in its full version yesterday (Aug 10).

Selected forCannes Director's Fortnight in 2005, ThePresident's Last Bang dramatises the events thatsurrounded authoritarian president Park Chung-hee'sassassination on the night of Oct. 26, 1979.

The defamation suitwas brought by Park Ji-man, son of late President Park. The court did rule in favour of one-fifth of the $500,000 compensation demandedby the plaintiff, remarking that "although we acknowledge part of latePresident Park Chung-hee's honor and privacy wereinfringed upon, the extent of infringement was not significant enough toprohibit the screening of the film."

Directly before thefilm's Feb. 5, 2005 release, Park's heirs sued producer MK Pictures tohave the film blocked from release. The controversy was heightened by the factthat the late president's daughter, Park Geun-hae, isa prominent figure in the center-right opposition party.

In 2005, thecourts ruled against blocking the film in its entirety, but stated that 3 min.50 sec. of documentary footage at the beginning and end should be removed asthey might "confuse" viewers as to the fictional quality of the work.

The film was releasedwith music on a black screen replacing the removed footage. It garnered 1madmissions, but the banned footage was also kept off of DVD special features. With the court's formerruling applying to international versions as well, the film was screened in Cannes in its edited form, too.

With this newverdict coming a year and a half after the film's release, Park Sang-soo of MK Picture's distribution team says, "We have noplans at the moment to re-release the film in its original form, or add footagein DVDs."