The Korean Film Organization has criticized the Venice Film Festival in response to its decision to screen late South Korean director Kim Ki-duk’s last film despite multiple sex crimes. The abuse charges he faced before his death.
Kim died of complications related to COVID- 19 Latvia 2020. A wave of sexual assault allegations against him during the height of South Korea’s #MeToo movement tarnished his reputation at home, and he spent much of his final years abroad. At the time of his death, the director was working on his last project, a project in Estonia, Kyrgyzstan and Latvia, titled Call of God . The film was made posthumously by King’s Estonia-based collaborator, filmmaker and producer Artur Weber. The work will have its world premiere on September 6 at a coveted out-of-competition slot in Venice.
, the Korean Federation of Film Trade Unions publicly criticized Venice’s decision to elevate the late director’s work in this way.
“Just because he died, it doesn’t mean that what happened will suddenly disappear,” said Lee Sang-gil, the union director. “Kim never apologized to the victims, but denied his allegations through a series of lawsuits. For the victims, their time with Kim Jong-un will always be an unforgettable scar from their careers. After the incident, All victims are unable to recover and return to work on set.”
August , Korea Women’s Link, a Seoul-based advocacy group working to combat violence against women, sent a letter of condemnation to Venice Festival organizers.
“The late director Kim Ki-duk has been fined for assaulting an actress while filming,” the statement read. “Although Kim Myung-kyung clearly committed a horrific crime, he tried to track down an accuser and sue the victim for libel, not apologize. But Venice International Film Festival decided to screen his films in honor of him, despite this fact, to absolve him of sexual violence.”
Alberto Barbera, director of the Venice Film Festival TellTHR he decided to put Kim’s God’s Call on this year’s show, Part of the reason is the late director’s long history with the festival.
Known for depicting the soft underbelly of South Korean society, with a range of extreme violence and pictorial anomalies, Kim Jong-un’s work was celebrated at the great Western film festivals, but was South Korea tends to perform poorly at the box office. In he won Berlin with Samaritan Girl Silver Bear for Best Director. A drama about teenage prostitutes; and Venice’s Silver Lion for Best Director 3-Iron , a horror film. He later won the Venice Golden Lion 2012 for Best Picture for his psychological drama Pieta .
“I would say it’s a loyalty to the director, a mutual respect and trust between the filmmakers and the festival,” Barbera told THR Venice’s long-term collaboration with the director. “Kidd Kim’s Estonian friends contacted me a year ago to say they were working on a movie that Kidd couldn’t do because he passed away in the middle of production, and I don’t think we can pass up this opportunity,” he
“Most people don’t want to speak ill of Kim Jong Un because he’s dead,” Zeng Zai2017 said she was making his2013 while being beaten by the director and forced into a full-touch, unscripted sex scene movie Moebius . “It left the victim distressed. The police closed their investigation after his death and the criminal proceedings about his sexual assault never had a chance to see the truth. But he did receive summary fines for stalking and other physical assaults and had Multiple evidence supports the victim’s claim.”
Seo, who has represented other female victims in South Korea’s high-profile #MeToo cases, including a sexual harassment case against Ko Un , Ko Un, a well-known poet of literature often cited as a Nobel Prize candidate, said Kim’s victims continued to live in “nightmares”.
During the prosecutor’s investigation, Kim admitted to Moebius , including that he repeatedly punched the actress in the face, but Explains that it was part of his “show-directing process.” Regarding the victim’s claim that he forced her to touch an actor’s penis — a scene that was not part of the script — King denied the allegations, saying he had no recollection of the circumstances.
In 2018, Korean broadcaster MBC aired a report on the sexual abuse of Kim based on the testimony of multiple women A heavyweight investigation into the additional allegations reports that the victims and witnesses he filmed, including two male collaborators, said “horrific incidents” were commonplace in King’s work. An actress who did not want to be named to protect her career claims that both Kim and Mobius lead actor Jo Jae-hyun raped her. She was in a hotel room during filming. Other actresses have claimed that Kim would have sex with him as a prerequisite for getting the role.
Kim has verbally denied the allegations and sued his plaintiff and MBC for defamation. He lost his trial against MBC, appealed, and later lost again. The court said there was insufficient evidence to judge the claims of actors and film professionals on the show wrong.
Estonian director Viber, who completed God’s Call , agreed to be interviewed by
via emailTHR ahead of Venice. But the filmmaker later did not respond to questions about his creative relationship with Kim and his response to allegations of assault against his former collaborator in South Korea.
gather50/50, French film groups, which advocate for gender equality and equality in the European film industry, also did not respond to requests for comment.
“It is regrettable that Venice invites and honors Kim Jong-un in film without mentioning his actions as a perpetrator of sexual assault,” said Women of the Deun Deun Center, a Seoul-based organization Spokesman Choi Eun-min said it was formed during the #MeToo movement in South Korea and its focus was on preventing sexual assault on the set and supporting survivors. “#MeToo perpetrators were able to return and continue their work because these organisers kept silent about their links to sexual violence and human rights abuses and praised [the perpetrators] for the film. This could be seen as a pardon for the perpetrators the violence of the perpetrators.”
Barbera elaborates to THR on his last film of King reasons for inclusion. “We had to face the same situation, for example, two years ago we showed Roman Polanski’s officer and spy in the game. . I think what I said at the time is still valid,” he said. “We are not a court of law. I am not a judge who can make decisions about the character of a man or a woman. I am a film critic. I am here to judge the quality of what is submitted to the festival. I think between man and artist This separation is inevitable. It’s part of art history. As I said before, we know that [Italian painter] Caravaggio was the murderer. But he created some of the most important century masterpiece of Italian painting. What should we do? Remove these paintings from museums because Caravaggio is the murderer? I don’t think so…we We are not here to judge this person or that person. We are here to judge the quality of what he makes. Sometimes people who do good things do bad things.”
Director of the Korean Film Workers Union Lee noted that the representation of women in Kim’s films has been the subject of controversy in South Korea. film community.
“As film professionals, we support artists’ free speech,” he said. “If his imagery were just an act of creative expression, it wouldn’t be a big deal for many. But it’s shocking that such a brutal scene somehow reflects the actual atmosphere on his set
In any event, Lee is willing to believe that Venice decided to invite King’s work without knowing the full legal context of the allegations against him.
“He died without a final legal decision from the court,” he added. “This is regrettable for all parties.”
Scott Roxborough of Germany contributed to this report.