Kim Ki-duk's Movies and Life: South Korean director who wins the Golden Lion for best film at Venice with his film ‘Pieta’

“I don’t have good personal connection and educational background. So I think I am a monster that has nourished with a sense of inferiority.”


South Korean director Kim Ki-duk.. He has made a great achievement!
He won the Golden Lion for best film at the 69th Venice Film Festival on September 9th.
The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world among three international film festivals around the world(Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival).


He began his career in the movie at a very late age.
When he was 32-year-old, he watched the movie 'The Silence of the Lambs' and ‘Les Amants du Pont-Neuf’ in France in 1992, and he was fascinated by the movies.
He went to France in order to study the picture, but the movies changed course of his life. The experience had moulded and coloured his whole life.
Kim Ki-duk said “It was the first movie experience that I faced.”
So we can tell that he was destine to become a great film director from his first love for the movie.


Returned from France, he began writing the screenplay.
Only elementary school is the highest level of schooling he has received, and after graduating, he had toured the Guro Industrial Complex and the factories located in Cheonggyecheon in Seoul.
In the meantime, he had tried to write a film script, but it was not acceptable to anywhere.

Four years later, in 1996, he made his debut as a director of film 'Crocodile(악어)'.
But his talents are not fully appreciated in the Chungmuro, known as the street of culture, artists, and film industry in Seoul, Korea.
He didn’t have good educational background, and had no personal connections and money. So that he had called as ‘3-nothing-film director’, and he volunteered the ‘Outsider’ of the Korean film industry.

Kim Ki-duk describes himself as ‘a monster that has nourished with a sense of inferiority’, and that is a kind of self-torture brought by his life and environment.


After debut, he put on a series of topics continually. 
In 2000, he finished the film ‘Real Fiction’ in only one day, and the movie was made on a shoestring budget.
People did not have to put up the money to him because he insisted on creating an art film.


After the years of his efforts his dream came true.
Recognized for his experimental cinematic works, Kim Ki-duk received Best Director awards in 2004 at two film festivals, for two of his films. 
He won the Silver Lion for Best Direction Award at the Venice Film Festival for his film ‘Empty House’, and at the Berlin Film Festival for his film ‘Bin-jip’(meaning the empty house).

Ironically, he was not famous director in Korea, but he transformed into international star director.
From the time, he is not ‘Outsider’, but become ‘Insider’.


4 years later, in 2008, Kim Ki-duk went into retreat suddenly. 
His follower, the director of Korean film ‘Rough Cut’, took away from Kim Ki-duk to a large investment distributor, and an unexpected accident occurred during the film shooting, in his film ‘Dream’: Korean actress Lee Na-young had a brush with death when she shoot a suicide scene.


He was born 1960 in Bong-hwa in North Gyeongsang Province. 
I dropped out of school due to family circumstances after his graduation from Agricultural vocational schools.

Onetime, his dream was to enter the priesthood.
Pieta, Samaria, and Amen.. The reason that almost all his work contains religious content is that his dream of the clergy melted his job.


He is under evaluation as he hates the capitalist commercial films constitutionally.
But he recently took a odd step, that is, he appeared to one of Korean entertainment TV program ‘Strong Heart’. 
Typically, entertainment TV programs are tended to be extremes of commercialism!
Does he change?

But we do not need to think intricately.
As he said ‘the movie is the movie’, Kim Ki-duk is Kim Ki-duk.

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