Berlin Film Festival

Director Kim Ki Duk says no one 'suffers' on his sets

South Korean director Kim Ki Duk (centre) with Japanese actress Mina Fujii and South Korean actor Lee Sung Jae, from his film Human, Space, Time And Human, in Berlin.
South Korean director Kim Ki Duk (centre) with Japanese actress Mina Fujii and South Korean actor Lee Sung Jae, from his film Human, Space, Time And Human, in Berlin.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BERLIN • Acclaimed South Korean director Kim Ki Duk rejected abuse accusations against him at the Berlin film festival over the weekend, saying no one "suffers" on the sets of his ultra-violent, sexually explicit art movies.

Kim, who has picked up prizes at the Cannes, Venice and Berlin festivals, faced a barrage of questions from reporters about allegations of physical and sexual abuse by an actress he worked with in 2013.

"No matter how fantastic a film is, we must make sure that nobody feels insulted during shooting and that applies for everybody, both cast and crew," said the 57-year-old.

Asked whether he wished to apologise to the actress, who has declined to be publicly named, Kim said: "What we were actually doing was rehearsing a scene.

"We were on the set, there were a lot of people present. My crew back then did not object at all or say that it was inappropriate.

"I don't remember exactly what happened, but it really was related to artistic performance, to the acting. I believe that the actress interpreted this incident differently than I did."

Kim presented his latest picture Human, Space, Time And Human which, like many of his films, includes brutal rape scenes.

He insisted his "daily life is not like my films and I wouldn't like to live that way. So please don't draw conclusions about my personality because of looking at my films".

Japanese actress Mina Fujii, who plays Eve in the film, an allegorical mother of humanity who is raped by five men, said she had a good experience making the movie.

"Working with Kim Ki Duk was very positive, there was a pleasant atmosphere on the set," she added.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 19, 2018, with the headline 'Director Kim Ki Duk says no one 'suffers' on his sets'. Print Edition | Subscribe