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WILD ANIMALS

South Korea, 1999 (MIFF 2002, Beauty within the Beast – Kim Ki-Duk)

Director: Kim Ki-Duk

Set in the back alleys of Paris, Wild Animals sketches the unique friendship between two Koreans living abroad. South Korean Chung-hae goes to Paris to study art but, lacking scruples, he soon winds up earning a living through various scams. He meets an AWOL North Korean soldier named Hong-san, trying to enlist in the French Foreign Legion. The friendship - initially based on necessity - soon develops its own coded sympathy and compassion. Chung-hae hatches a scheme to use Hong-san's martial arts abilities to impress a local crime lord but they soon become perilously embroiled in the French underworld.

Shot entirely in France - and featuring two well-known French actors, Denis Lavant (Leos Carax' leading man) and Richard Bohringer (Diva, The Cook, The Thief...) in supporting roles - Kim's second feature is nevertheless concerned with acutely Korean issues. The friendship that develops between the two leads is replete with mix-ups tragedy and reconciliation - a turbulent concoction easily read as an allegory of Korea's traumatic separation. Kim's second feature is a fascinating meditation on the theme of the outsider.

"Kim Ki-Duk has lively ideas about plotting and pacing, not to mention an excellent eye for imagery, colour and visual detail." - Tony Rayns, Vancouver Film Festival

See also...

SAMARITAN GIRL

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 »

SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER AND SPRING

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 »

3-IRON

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 »

NINE LIVES OF KOREAN CINEMA

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 »

TIME

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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