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South Korea, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Beauty within the Beast – Kim Ki-Duk)

Director: Kim Ki-Duk

Reminiscent of the films of Japan's angry masters (Seijun Suzuki and Shohei Imamura in particular), Kim Ki-Duk has earned a reputation for his unflinching exploration of the sexually and emotionally perverse. The film is a wild ride through the scarred minds and bodies of Korean villagers living near a US airbase in the 1970s. A lonely woman living in a bus writes letters to a long departed GI who fathered her son. Every letter is returned 'address unknown'. Her son, Chang-guk, an object of violence and ridicule, can only find work with a sadistic dog butcher. Chang-guk finds himself caught in the middle of an exploitative relationship between a beautiful young girl with an eye injury and an emotionally mercenary American soldier. This seething menage a trois can only end in catastrophe.

Arresting and poetic, Address Unknown is imbued with awesome metaphorical power and the immediacy of human despair. Kim Ki-Duk asks difficult questions about Korea's colonised consciousness.

"There are certainly some powerful images here, images that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled." - Hollywood Reporter

See also...


South Korea, 2004
Samaritan Girl (Samaria) South KoreaWinner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at this year's Berlin Film Festival, Kim Ki-duk's 10th feature combines the darker-edged themes of his earlier films (B… More »


South Korea, 2004
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter' and Spring (Bom, Yeoreum, Gaeul, Gyeowool, Geurigo Bom) South Korea'spring, Summer, Fall, Winter' and Spring is an exquisitely simple movie. The film's lyrical plainness… More »


Korea, 2004
The mesmerising 3-Iron, which won him the Best Director Award at the Venice Film Festival, again proves Kim Ki-duk deserves his reputation as one of the world's leading outsider filmmakers. Exemplify… More »


France/Korea, 2005
MIFF has enthusiastically flown the flag for South Korean cinema, championing such diverse and mind-altering work as MIFF guests Kim Ki-duk (retrospective in 2002), Park Chan-wook (Old Boy 2004), Im … More »


South Korea, 2006
A recent estimate in Korea claimed that 50 percent of the female population had opted for plastic surgery in their 20s. Considering this epidemic, MIFF favourite Kim Ki-duk's (Bad Guy, The Isle) la… More »

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