Acclaimed SKorean Director Kim Ki-duk To Release His ‘Trauma Film’ at Venice Days


One on One, the 20th film from South Korea’s renowned and controversial director Kim Ki-duk, will open the Venice Film Festival’s sidebar film circuit, Venice Days, which runs from Aug. 27 to Sept. 6, Variety reports.

Like Kim’s prior works, Kim’s latest film, which is already playing in Korea, is also on the macabre side. In fact, some are calling it a “trauma film” because of its violent scenes. The film’s trailer opens with a female schoolgirl being pursued by masked figures during her late night walk home. She is kidnapped, raped and murdered. Afterwards, mysterious figures are seen telephoning their higher-ups to report the deed and receiving approval for it. Seven members of the Shadows Sect then stalk the crime’s seven suspects.

Kim has said that the film is about “the country where I live, South Korea. Whether you agree with the ending or not, if you don’t feel like you are being killed, you should not watch it. I made it so some people would understand. Otherwise there would be no point. This is what we are now.”

The film stars Dong-seok Ma (The Good, The Bad, and The Weird) and Young-min Kim, who reteams with the director after appearing in his critically lauded film, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter,… and Spring. The 2003 film won over film critics like the late Roger Ebert, who gave it four out of four stars.

Kim is not new to the international film circuit. He has competed and won top awards at several prestigious international film festivals, such as the Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes and the Venice Film Festival, where his Pieta became the first South Korean film to be awarded the 2012 Golden Lion, the festival’s highest honor. His Moebius from last year’s Venice Film Festival proved one of the most controversial films to premiere there.

Venice Days’ artistic director Giorgio Gosetti, in explaining the selection of One on One, noted that Kim’s films“as extreme as they get, nicely represent the spirit of our section, which rewards courage and creativity.” 

Here’s a peek at Kim Ki-duk’s One on One: