South Korean director says on-set violence was to 'demonstrate a scene'

South Korean director Kim Ki Duk speaking during an event at the 19th Busan International Film Festival, on Oct 5, 2014.
South Korean director Kim Ki Duk speaking during an event at the 19th Busan International Film Festival, on Oct 5, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Director Kim Ki Duk released a statement on Aug 3 in response to accusations he had hit and coerced an actress on the set of Moebius in 2013.

The director said that he could not exactly recall the events from four years ago. However, he stressed that the strike happened while demonstrating a scene.

"I myself was in the scene and might have hit the opposing actress while following the viewpoint or hit myself. This happened while I was demonstrating and explaining that this was the scene I wanted," said Kim.

"In any case, it was from a director's stance, a situation that occurred while concentrating to heighten the realism of the film."

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The statement went on to offer a conditional apology. The director said: "Even so, if a crew member is able to give an exact testimony of the situation, I will see this as a chance to reconsider my stance as a film director and take responsibility for my actions.

"Aside from the part about violence, the rest I believe is a misunderstanding that arose from my efforts to do my best (to depict) the scene in the scenario from a director's position.

"In any case, I am truly sorry toward the actress who was hurt by the incident."

Moebius was screened in South Korea only after some controversial scenes were removed.

It was also shown out of competition at the 2013 Venice International Film Festival.

Kim bagged the Golden Lion for best film at the 2012 edition of the festival for Pieta - about a loan-shark enforcer whose life changes when he meets a woman claiming to be his mother.