We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Kim Ki-duk

Hye Seung Chung

Publication Year: 2012

This study investigates the controversial motion pictures written and directed by the independent filmmaker Kim Ki-duk, one of the most acclaimed Korean auteurs in the English-speaking world. Propelled by underdog protagonists who can only communicate through shared corporeal pain and extreme violence, Kim's graphic films have been classified by Western audiences as belonging to sensationalist East Asian "extreme" cinema, and Kim has been labeled a "psychopath" and "misogynist" in South Korea._x000B__x000B_Drawing upon both Korean-language and English-language sources, Hye Seung Chung challenges these misunderstandings, recuperating Kim's oeuvre as a therapeutic, yet brutal cinema of Nietzschean ressentiment (political anger and resentment deriving from subordination and oppression). Chung argues that the power of Kim's cinema lies precisely in its ability to capture, channel, and convey the raw emotions of protagonists who live on the bottom rungs of Korean society. She provides historical and postcolonial readings of victimization and violence in Kim's cinema, which tackles such socially relevant topics as national division in Wild Animals and The Coast Guard and U.S. military occupation in Address Unknown. She also explores the religious and spiritual themes in Kim's most recent works, which suggest possibilities of reconciliation and transcendence.

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Series: Contemporary Film Directors

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (21.1 KB)

Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (28.6 KB)

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (65.9 KB)
pp. ix-x

First, I am thankful for the insights provided by my former students at the University of Michigan, Hamilton College, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, who watched Kim Ki-duk’s films in my classes and shared their thoughtful responses. Their enthusiasm and appreciation for Kim’s often misunderstood and maligned...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (1.2 MB)
pp. 1-126

Kim Ki-duk is one of the most acclaimed Korean filmmakers in the Western world. As of 2011, an unprecedented ten of Kim’s seventeen feature-length motion pictures are commercially available in the U.S. home-video market...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (156.2 KB)
pp. 127-140

This interview was originally published in a promotional booklet, edited by Lee Hae-jin, entitled Kim Ki-duk: From Crocodile to Address Unknown (Seoul: LJ Film, 2001). It is reprinted here with permission of LJ Film America. Although the interview only covers Kim Ki-duk’s first six feature films, many of the issues...


pdf iconDownload PDF (71.3 KB)
pp. 141-146


pdf iconDownload PDF (115.9 KB)
pp. 147-154


pdf iconDownload PDF (107.8 KB)
pp. 155-161

E-ISBN-13: 9780252093791
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252036699

Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Contemporary Film Directors