▶2012년 10월 육정학/부산국제영화제 PIPRESCI PRIZE (국제영화비평가연맹상) 심사위원
17th Busan International Film Festival
Kim, Ki-duk and his Movie, 'Pieta'
by Yook Jung Hak
Many people in Korea say that they feel uncomfortable about watching Mr. Kim's movies. The uncomfortable feeling means that his movies make their head black and heavy, and their life itself gets too scary as their minds seem to be awkward having a cruel nightmare by frankly disclosing cruel facts through his movies such as the violence of man, devil, and cruelty, which ordinary people can't feel in their life. Although people pay their own money for his movies to see his movies, they feel uncomfortable from Mr. Kim's movies. That's why they should feel this bad feeling'.
Although this uncomfortable feeling makes his movies be more popular abroad, Korean film-goers face away because of this. Mr. Kim is thought to surely have the creative direction as a sensual director with an unique individuality different from other directors. However, his movies are thought not to have been with Koreans' emotions.
When it comes to Korea or Koreans' emotions, the expression 'Koreans of will with emotions of sorrow' has been commonly used. On the other hand, Koreans have lived their life always hearing and learning these Koreans' will in their life, which necessarily makes them successful by repressing the feeling of sorrow through trying to smile and smile even though Koreans live a poor and hard life. Koreans have implicitly kept a variety of stories in their life like ghost stories of early childhood, love stories between young men and women, stories about devoted sons and daughters, and success stories at last beyond the confines of human, and most of the stories ends up living happily. Despite unhappy stories with all kinds of imagination, they also ends up happily. Stories with happy endings are kind of tired and stale, but they make listeners or eyers feel fresh and give them hope. But people feel miserable from Kim's movies all the way while watching them. For example, the movies directed by Kim, such as 'Bad Man' which covers stories without morality and ethical conscience making a university woman in prefect into prostitution because of desire to love, 'Samaria' which hellishly deals with relations between a teenage girl having sex with adults and her father, and 'Pieta' which deals with bad money-lenders who cruelly injure borrowers unable to pay back, may be about the happenings in our society, but in that they are horrible and uncomfortable, we naturally cry out calling him 'a crazy boy' when it comes to Kim, Ki-duk. Characters beyond imagination in his works, which include describing men as animals, selecting death rather than living, dealing with violence and abuse of women, sadistic eyes killing people cruelly, try to communicate with the world through violence and sex. Therefore, if we want to communicate with his works, we also have to be mad. If so, what is his reality making this uncomfortable feeling into the world?
His 18th movie, 'Pieta', which first won the Leone D'Ore award in the history of Korean cinema at the Venice Film Festival this year, is a little different from his previous movies. While his movies so far have been cruel full of blood between maltreatment and battered treatment, Pieta deals with love of humans, which is led to salvation by embracing the past of maltreatment and battered treatment like the original sin, overcoming it, reflecting it, and being purged of sin.
His love for humans in his movie, 'Samaria, 2004', appears through the revenge of man called 아버지(father). Because there are men who want to have sex with young girls, it is naturally thought in the movie that the young girls have sex. Therefore, the movie is too hard on men as a father, but the father as a man takes his revenge for his daughter. We feel his love for the world which we have not seen until now. The movie tries to make his daughter alive like a miracle through another love as a father having such a daughter, fighting against a father, who has sex with anyone like hungry beasts as an instinctive desire. Afterward, the man is hanging around the house again. Kim Ki-duk tried hard to live with his beloved woman one way or another in '3-Iron, 2004'. His struggling for hope even in the world, where statutory rape is an issue and everyone becomes crazy means that he tries to communicate with the world about the very humans and love by filling the empty house titled '3-Iron' with his beloved woman's breath to be filled tight. So far, Kim, through his movies, has not made peace with the space called the world, has shown ridicule and malice toward the world, and has taken an avoiding approach to life such as frustration, and renunciation, but another emotion, anything surely different, comes up to us in his movie, 'Pieta', although the movie still has cruel expressions.
The movie, 'Pieta', which was screened at the Busan International Film Festival at this time, already finished being screened at all the theaters on the 3rd of October, 2012, and this was the last chance for unexperienced film-goers to see the movie. A total of over 590,000 people saw the movie, and the number didn't meet the reputation as the best award at the Venice Film Festival, but it can be said that the movie obtained the Venice Film Festival effect judging from the result.
Pieta is the movie having a relatively clear theme, and hero named Kangdo is depending on maternal love at even the theater poster, heroin named woman, mother of Kangdo, is repressing her painful life in the name of maternal love, and is asking for mercy by playing a duet with love and revenge.
The man named Kangdo, who seeks for only money like the devil, lives his life everyday raising money with cruel methods like cutting their fingers and breaking their legs, in case the borrowers don't pay him back. These borrowers are laborers working at Cheonggyecheon, and are also miserable people who just have to give up their life for their debt like becoming disabled for life, and killing themselves. But one day, a woman named a mother, 엄마(mother) came to see him, saying to him that she abandoned her son, and then asking for his forgiveness endlessly. At last, Kangdo, who opens his minds to her maternal love named 엄마(mother), tries hard to protect her mother……,. After the middle of the movie, the secret of mother is disclosed by her disappearing. From this moment, the movie begins to gain momentum. Humans' cruelty like the devil, thinking that money goes anywhere, is charged with a crime, Mr. Kim persuasively eats into film-goers' minds, telling us if who forgives whom, and who saves whom, through the revenge named maternal love to punish the crime, and through forgiveness and hatred shown in the process of living together. Pieta is still confusing about ill-treatment and battered treatment aiming at the atmosphere of the area selling tools at Cheonggyecheon, and poor, ignorant, and miserable people, and also has violent scenes, but as in the last shocking scene, this movie makes us believe that man can reach salvation through crime and punishment. The belief gave greater prominence to the theme of the movie, and played an important role in winning the Leone D'Ore award at the Venice Film Festival.