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'Samaria' by Kim Ki-duk invited to Berlin festival

2004/01/15 Source

Director Kim Ki-duk's new film "Samaria" has been invited to the competitive section of the 54th Berlin International Film Festival scheduled to raise its curtain Feb. 5.
The invitation marks Kim's second appearance in the competitive section of Berlin after "Bad Guy" in 2002. "Birdcage Inn" also screened in the panorama section of the film festival in 1998 when Kim was a relative unknown.

"Samaria", the 10th film of Kim's prolific career, finds the director on familiar ground, exploring the dirty underbelly of Korea's sexual dysfunction. Two high school girls get involved in "wonjo gyoje", the practice of getting paid to have sex with older men, in order to earn money for a trip to Europe.

After one of them dies, the other falls into despair and meets the older men her friend slept with one by one to return their money and have sex with them. Meanwhile, her father witnesses one of the encounters and tries to get revenge on the men of his age who are sleeping with his daughter. "Samaria" was shot last November in just 11 days with Kwak Ji-min, Han Yeo-reum and Lee Eol in the main roles. The film is set to be released in Korea in late February or early March.

Kim has been better appreciated in Europe than in Korea throughout his contentious career as his works have earned raves at overseas showcases while playing in empty theaters at home.

Kim's "The Isle" and "Address Unknown" competed at the Venice International Film Festival in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Last year, "The Coast Guard" collected awards at Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic while "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring" did the same at Locarno in Switzerland.

By Kim Jin

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