Release Date: 08th June 2012 (UK Theatrical Release),
Running Time: 110 mins.
Director: Kim Ki-duk
Writer: Kim Ki-duk
Starring: Kim Ki-duk
Kim Ki-duk is a self-taught director with a fearsome reputation. Over the course of 15 films he has cultivated a bad guy persona by creating stories packed with raw emotions and tough situations delivered in a manner that seems brutal when placed next to his more stylish and reserved contemporaries. Characters will frequently be subjected to prostitution, violence, and some form of masochism or other. All the violence and pain finally caught up with him because when shooting suicide scene for his 2008 film, Dream, the lead actress nearly died (Kim saved her). This triggered an emotional breakdown which led to his self-imposed exile in the Korean countryside. Three years later, Arirang emerges.
My previous experiences with Kim Ki-duk have been unrewarding. Despite the visual beauty of 3-Iron and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring I found the emotional content heavy going. His world view has seemed to me to be very bleak. Arirang is another one of those films that shares that bleakness.