Pieta: A Film Directed by Kim Ki-duk

A film directed by Kim Ki-duk and winner of the Golden Lion Award at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, Pieta is an intense and brutal story about a man, Kang-do, played by Lee Jungjin, who lives his life alone with no family members around.

He works for a moneylender and his job is to collect debt from the borrowers. Through the use of force and violence and no regards to their well-beings, Kang-do does whatever it takes to retrieve his boss’s money from the victims. While going through his daily debt collections, he meets a mysterious woman, Mi-sun, played by Cho Min-soo, who claims to be his long-lost mother. Not expecting such a huge presence to reappear in his life, he rejects her. After initially ignoring her, overtime he slowly learns to accept the truth and deal with having a loved one close by. Kang-do understands the significance and responsibilities of caring for someone so he leaves his dangerous job and lifestyle to live a “normal” one. However, he soon discovers a dark secret and realizes it is too late to escape from his past.

Cho Minsoo

‘Pieta’, which means ‘pity’ in Italian, is an artistic form of a sculpture or painting that depicts Virgin Mary sorrowfully cradling the dead body of Jesus. These representations of Virgin Mary signify her pain from loss that we all experience and relate to in our own lives. This film shares the same theme.

Pieta was filmed in the Cheonggyecheon area of Seoul, Korea in a very short period of time. Kim Ki-duk created this film after he realized that “humanity of Korean society is being destroyed by the painful reality created by money”. Ki-duk chose the location of Cheonggyecheon for the specific reason that this area of Seoul was once filled with working factories, but is now getting remodeled and replaced by commercial and financial buildings. Ki-duk claims that capitalism has taken over civilization with money-oriented individuals. He wanted to share this film to show how the power of love can alter your choices in life and ultimately change who you are for the better. Lastly, Ki-duk wants his viewers to fight against the invasion of capitalism and not allow the money to takeover humanity.

Director Kim Ki­Duk: After studying art in Paris, he returned to Korea and began his career as a screenwriter. He made his directorial debut with low budget feature Crocodile in 1996. Since then, Kim Kiduk has been hailed by both critics and audiences for his hardtodescribe characters, shocking visuals and unprecedented messages. He continued making internationally acclaimed films such as Samaritan Girl, which won the Silver Bear Award (Best Director) at the 54th Berlin Int’l Film Festival, along with 3Iron which won the Leone d’Argento Award (Special Award for Best Direction) at the 61st Venice Film Festival. His latest work Arirang won the Un Certain Regard prize at the 64th Cannes Film Festival.

Cho Minsoo (Mysterious woman): A veteran actress who perfectly portrays the sublime and provocative mysterious woman in Pieta, Cho Minsoo earns praise from director Kim Kiduk for her powerful performance as a “ravenhaired Mary” in the film.

Lee Jungjin (Loan shark): gives an impassioned performance as a man who leads an impoverished life. He is appraised by Kim Kiduk as “an actor who is like a blank sheet of paper that filmmakers can truly be creative on.”

Kim ki-duk’s PIETA which Drafthouse Films will release theatrically in New York (Cinema Village) and LA on Friday May 17 with a national release to follow.

PIETA Trailer:

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