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Ko - production in Busan
  • KIM on PIETA: "I was on a high"
  • by JI Yong-jin /  Sep 12, 2012
  • First press event in Korea since winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival

    KIM Ki-duk canceled his schedule in Europe after Pieta won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, flying back to Korea to have a press conference. Since it was the first official event in Korea after the film took the award, the venue was completely packed with hundreds of members of the press. The event took place on the afternoon of September 11th.
    To the question, “Who came up first in your mind when you were awarded?,” KIM answered, “I visualized myself at 15 years old, working hard near Cheonggyecheon carrying loads and moving boxes.” (Chenggyecheon is where KIM spent his childhood doing physical labor and the area serves as the backdrop of the film. He worked at different factories and learned technical skills instead of continuing his education after elementary school.)
    When he was asked what the atmosphere was like prior to the awards presentation, he said, “Alberto BARBERA said my film received a ten-minute standing ovation at the press preview and it was the first time he saw such a situation, so I felt peculiar.” He also added, "The Italian newspaper ‘Republica’ reported that it received an avalanche of applause at the official screening, so I was somewhat expectant.”
    Then he added, “I think there were about 5,000 people who viewed Pieta at the festival. When I saw people everywhere saying that my film would win the Golden Lion, I was on a high but also felt burdened the day before because I knew my expectations had been reported to Korean media. I was very much worried thinking the disappointment would be too big to stand if I failed, but fortunately, my expectations came true in the end.”
    About his style of low-budget filmmaking, he said, “What are most important are the script and the world as seen through the director’s perspective. I think films like mine deserve to compete fiercely on the market. I hope Pieta sets a successful precedent.” Ticket sales for Pieta have sharply increased since it won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
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