Considered one of the world’s leading film directors, Kim Ki-duk started making films at the age of 36, before he received his academic and technical training in filmmaking. Kim Ki-duk, who has directed and won awards at internationally renowned film festivals such as Berlin, Venice, Locarno and Cannes, has made 26 feature films in his cinematic career.

You can also read this article: 11 Korean Drama Movies That Will Make You Cry Inside Out

Kim Ki-duk life and thoughts

Award-winning South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk has gained worldwide fame for his bold portrayal of violence and human atrocities in his films rich in allegory. Raised in a poor family that survived the aftermath of the Korean War and dropped out of school at the age of 14, Kim Ki-duk worked hard for many years, which left him with what he describes as a “deep inferiority complex,” in his own words.

“I didn’t watch a single movie until I was 30. I remember the first films I saw: The Silence of the Lambs starring Anthony Hopkins and Lovers on Pont Neuf by Leos Carax. These two films made a huge impression on me. Since then I started watching films and over time I met many directors such as Emir Kusturica, Shohei Imamura who helped me understand the film industry better.”

In Kim Ki-duk’s films, filled with pain, love, cruelty and compassion, sometimes fish-like or bird-like characters sometimes don’t even speak a single phrase throughout the entire film (as in his famous film “Three Irons”). But strangely enough, it is impossible to tear oneself away from the movie screen; You can never predict who will decide what or what will happen. In Kim Ki-duk’s film, the more the characters fall in love with each other and the stronger their feelings, the more painful their relationship.

In Kim Ki-duk’s films, characters are sometimes invisible, bound by mystical threads, and sometimes severely punished. Sometimes they seek themselves on a journey. Films “about life and about the most elementary facts of life”, for all their abstractness, are indispensable in the cinema of Kim Ki-duk.

Kim Ki-duk, who died due to coronavirus about 2 years ago, in December 2020, when asked what he dreamed about in an interview, gave the following answer:

“I want to make a film that no one has ever made: something that has never been made before and that no one can do again.”

About the movie Kim Ki-duk

With this film, Kim, who made her first feature film Crocodile in 1996, defined the theme of much of her later work: stories of asocial men who try to find meaning in life through the unsettling bonds they form with women who have suffered tragic circumstances.

His films about horrific violence against men and women and the rape of women divided audiences, with some accusing him of misogyny while others applauded the director’s cinematography for his cinematography and reckless portrayal of primitive nature and human instincts in rare realism. in other films.

Kim’s mostly low-budget films were rarely commercially successful. With the Golden Lion, Silver Lion and Silver Bear awards, as well as the Un Certain Regard award at Cannes, Kim Ki-duk has brought important work to South Korean cinema.

scandals about

The director, who has been accused of harassment and rape by two actresses he worked with, has denied all of these allegations. Kim, who was fined by the court for hitting the actress as part of her “acting lessons,” urged the film world and viewers “not to draw conclusions about her personality by looking at her films,” insisting that her real life is not like to her films. These allegations have alienated many names and audiences from the film world.

The director, who also comes to the fore with scenes of animal cruelty in his films, admits that the scenes in which frogs are beaten and skinned and fish are cut into pieces are unsettling. “Yes, it was done during the filming of my films.” He speaks and continues his sentence with these words: “But as far as I understand, the food we eat today was not produced differently than what you see there. You guys in America eat beef, pork and kill these animals, but the people who eat these animals don’t really care about slaughtering them. Although animals are already part of this consumption cycle, they may look more brutal on the screen, but I don’t see a fundamental difference.”

In the rest of the article, we will have a brief overview of 15 films by Kim Ki Duk. Enjoy reading…

1. One on One / Ildail – One on One (2014) – IMDB: 5.7

Crime, drama and thriller One on One, the opening film of the 71st Venice Film Festival as part of the 11th Venice Film Festival, won the Fedora Award for Best Film at that festival.

After the murder of a high school student, seven suspects are caught by members of an illegal organization.

2. Mobius (2013) – IMDB: 6.4.

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Another opening film of the 71st Venice Film Festival, the horror and drama Mobius is a gritty production that was banned in South Korea for a while. There are no dialogues or monologues in the film.

The woman is outraged by the illegal relationship of her husband. Meanwhile, their children sit on the periphery and watch their violent conflicts. One evening, a deceived woman enters their bedroom with a kitchen knife to get revenge on her husband. The father repels his attack and kicks him out of the bedroom. Then the mother goes to the son’s room.

3. Dream / Moebiuseu – Dream (2008) – IMDB: 6.5

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Dream, the director’s 15th film, is a drama and detective story that grossed over $500,000.

After a car accident, a man discovers that his dreams are related to a stranger’s sleepwalking.

4. Bad Guy / Nabbeun Namja – Bad Guy (2001) – IMDB: 6.6

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Nominated for a Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, Bad Boy drew criticism for its explicit portrayal of prostitution, sex slavery and gangsterism. The film, which collected $ 1 million, is made in the genre of romantic drama.

A callous tramp tries to ruin the life of a girl who rejects him. He engages her in prostitution and follows her regularly, but after a short time, his negative feelings towards this woman begin to change.

5. Arirang (2011) – IMDB: 6.8.

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This documentary tells how director Kim Ki-duk looks at his film career. The film’s title comes from a Korean folk song of the same name. The film, which deals with events such as the situation where the lead actor in “Dream”, Kim Ki-duk’s previous film, faced a situation where he nearly lost his life by hanging himself during filming, and his personal crises with his staff, was selected in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival and won an award.

6. Breath – Breath / Soom (2007) – IMDB: 6.9

Breath, another drama film nominated for the Palme d’Or by Kim Ki-duk, grossed over $600,000.

The plot of the film is that he slowly falls in love with a woman who decorates his prison cell; it is a love story centered around a convicted prisoner.

7. Island / Catfish – Ada (2000) – IMDB: 6.9

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The Island is a drama and thriller notorious for its gruesome scenes that made some viewers vomit or pass out during its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, for which it was nominated for the Golden Lion.

A mute young woman working at a fishing resort, surrounded by nature but whose life is full of problems, falls in love with a man who commits murder and is on the run from the law.

8. Samaritan / Samaria – Altruist Girl (2004) – IMDB: 7.1

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Another Kim Ki-duk drama, Samaritan Woman, won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film grossed over $300,000.

Jae-young is an amateur prostitute and her boss is Yeo-jin, who is also her best friend. When Jae-young falls in love with one of her clients, she must suppress her feelings for Yeo-jin, who is jealous of her. .

9. Bow / Praise – Sagittarius (2005) – IMDB: 7.1

The Onion, screened at the Un Certain Regard of the Cannes Film Festival, is a symbolic film with little dialogue. The film, which grossed over $2 million, was made in the genre of romantic drama.

A 60-year-old man has been raising a girl since infancy on a fishing boat at sea. She decided to marry him on her 17th birthday and is now 16 years old. They live a quiet and solitary life, renting their boat to fishermen daily and performing strange rites of divination. But their lives will change when a young student comes on board.

10. Time / Shi Gang – Time (2006) – IMDB: 7.1

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Vremya, which premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, grossed only $185,000 despite a $1 million budget.

A woman undergoes extensive plastic surgery to save her relationship. However, this plastic surgery aims to change the personality, not to look prettier.

11. Pieta – Bitter (2012) – IMDB: 7.1

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Premiered at the Venice International Film Festival where it won the Golden Lion, Pieta is a powerful crime, drama and thriller production that has grossed over $3.5 million.

The loan shark is forced to reconsider his abusive lifestyle with the arrival of a mysterious woman who claims to be his long-lost mother.

12. Address Unknown / suchwiin Bulmyeong – Unknown Address (2001) – IMDB: 7.2

Address Unknown, the opening film of the Venice Film Festival in 2001, is based on true stories based on the director’s life and what he witnessed.

In Korea, there are weak hopes, love, and all the good feelings of individuals; it is falling apart in a series of colonialism, civil war and occupation. After liberation from Japanese colonialism, Korea became the first war zone of the Cold War and is still known for sharing the legacy of the war.

13. Network / Geumul – The Network (2016) – IMDB: 7.3

The film premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. The film, which grossed over $350,000, belongs to the drama genre.

A North Korean fisherman accidentally breaks his boat’s engine and is swept away towards South Korea. After brutal investigations in the south, he will be sent back to North Korea.

14. 3-Iron / Bin-jip – Empty House (2004) – IMDB: 7.9

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3-Iron in the genres of crime and romantic drama, which won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Venice Film Festival and the San Sebastian Film Festival; It raised about $3.5 million.

A teenager, a wandering tramp, enters vacant houses to escort tenants who have left for a few days on vacation. Another person whose lives intersect is Sun-hwa, an abused housewife.

15. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring / Bom Yeoreum Gaeul Gyeoul Geurigo Bom – Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring (2003) – IMDB: 8.0

“Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring”, Kim Ki-duk’s masterpiece, grossing nearly $10 million at the box office, is a 4-episode film that won 4 major film awards at the Locarno International Film Festival. and symbolizes the 4 seasons.

The boy is raised by a Buddhist monk in a Buddhist monastery floating on a lake in a forest where the years follow each other like the seasons. The film explores the life of this boy from childhood to old age.

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