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Kim Wins Best Director Award at Berlin Film

2004/02/15 Source

South Korean film director Kim Ki-duk won the best director award for "Samaria (Samaritan Girl)" at the 54th Berlin Film Festival on Saturday, Yonhap News reported.
The film depicts a teenage girl's sexual exploitation and her father's murderous rampage it triggers.

It was the first time for any South Korean director to be given the award at the festival, although Kim's film " Bad Guy" unsuccessfully competed for the prize in 2002.

The festival's screening committee cited Kim's peculiar method of describing the process in which the father and his daughter forgive each other despite resentment and murder.

" I wanted to give the message that we need to forgive each other after making mistakes and hurting each other", Kim said. " I do not like the idea of a dichotomy in which we divide people into assaulters and victims and, based on such a division, punish or evaluat people".

Kim said he did not include the kind of extreme violence and sensual scenes he used in " Island" and " Bad Guy" because " Samaria" is a socially sensitive story of a high school girl's involvement in prostitution and her father's attempt to help her live a decent life.

The director said he did not expect to win the prize because it took only 11 days to make the film and spent only 440 million won ($378,840).

Kim won the prize during a period of major developments in the domestic film industry. Several South Korean films have become blockbusters over the past few years, with a few accruing production costs of more than $10 million and attracting nearly 10 million viewers.

" I hope such a small film like Samaria can get enough attention from Korean viewers", Kim said. " Samaria is small in scale but still meaningful".

" The development of Korean film to provide real meaning does not depend on the production budget and period, " said Kim, one of the most famous Korean directors abroad who has competed in major European film festivals.

" Bad Guy" attracted about 700,000 viewers, more than any other of Kim's films.

Korean producers of most low-budget films have difficulty finding cinemas to show their works as the domestic film industry expands and several local blockbusters attract viewers in other Asian countries.

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